Microsoft: Losing Google G Suite? Switch to Microsoft 365
- By Kurt Mackie
- February 11, 2022
Microsoft this week announced a Microsoft 365 Business productivity suite limited-time promotional offer, largely for small businesses, which is targeting "Google G Suite legacy free edition" users.
The offer arrives even as Google commences the end of its free productivity suite service. It will end on July 1, 2022 for organizations, educational institutions and individuals. Google wants these users to switch to its Google Workplace productivity suite plans on or before May 1, 2022.
Microsoft 365 Promo Offer
Microsoft's limited-time promotional offer is just for G Suite legacy free edition users and will expire on Aug. 2, 2022.
Microsoft's promo includes a 60-percent discount for organizations that sign up for a "12-month Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, or Business Premium subscription." Microsoft also is promising to include "one year of free support via its Business Assist for Microsoft 365" program, but such support is just available for U.S. subscribers.
All of Microsoft 365 Business plans offered in the promo support the ability to use the Microsoft Teams collaboration service with up 300 people. They also provide access to Web and mobile Office applications and "business-class e-mail," plus 1TB of online storage. Microsoft also throws in "anytime phone and web support" as part of its promotional offering.
G Suite Legacy Free Edition Ending in July
The Google G Suite legacy free edition service will end on July 1, 2022 but Google is offering a few transitional perks beforehand.
The free G Suite edition users will be automatically upgraded to a Google Workspace plan that reflects how they previously worked with the legacy productivity suite. These automatic upgrades will start as early as May 1, 2022. If organizations choose the "Flexible payment plan" and choose a Business edition upgrade to Google Workspace before the May service upgrade date, then there will be no subscription costs to pay "until at least July 1, 2022."
If organizations don't elect to pay, then the Google Workspace plan will be suspended. Administrators will have 60 days from account suspension to either upgrade the account or export data.
Google provides access to a Data Export tool to organizations with "no more than 1,000 users." Unfortunately, though, the Google G Suite free edition exported data "cannot be imported into another Google Workspace domain."
Educational organizations that qualify can migrate to Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals, a free edition, without experiencing service disruption, Google promised.
Individuals using the G Suite legacy free edition face the same service end date of July 1, 2022. However, Google dangled a vague promise of hope for nonbusiness users with less than 10 users, in an FAQ entry:
If you have 10 or fewer users in your group and do not use your G Suite legacy free edition for business, please sign in to your administrator account to provide more information.
Exacty what that information entails wasn't shared in the FAQ, so it's not clear if Google is offering an exception for some G Suite legacy free edition users.
Google actually stopped offering its G suite legacy free edition to new customers on December 6, 2012.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.