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December 7, 2012

Google to charge small businesses for using Google Apps

The businesses with 10 or less employees should pay $50 per user per year to use software

By CBR Staff Writer

Search giant Google has said that it will no longer provide web-based apps software, Google Apps, free for small businesses.

The company said individuals who wish to use its web apps like Gmail and Google Drive could create a free personal Google Account.

According to the company, only one version will be available for businesses instead of two versions and the businesses with 10 or less employees should pay $50 per user per year.

Google Apps director of product management Clay Bavor said that web-based apps software is used by millions of businesses.

"When we launched the premium business version we kept our free, basic version as well. Both businesses and individuals signed up for this version, but time has shown that in practice, the experience isn’t quite right for either group," Bavor said.

"Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes. Similarly, consumers often have to wait to get new features while we make them business-ready."

According to the Wall Street journal, Google had generated about $1bn from the sale of Google Apps and separate mapping software to businesses and governments over the past year.

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In June this year, Google had revamped its contracts for European Apps customers to help meet data protection regulations in the region.

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