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Google Apps Bait and Switch

I used to think Google was the king of free software. And for a while, it was. Here's how it worked: Its search engine would point to results of articles that I and fellow journalists wrote and sell ads against the results, cutting my company out of the business. That produced billions in pure profit without Google creating a lick of content.

That type of cash isn't for Google any more. Now they want the kind of dough Microsoft gets from Office.

Google Apps, at least for smaller shops and individuals, was always free. Well forget that. Any shop with over 10 users (heck, that could almost be my house) have to pony up $50 a year for the privilege of using Google Apps. If you know anything about amortization, this ain't necessarily no cheaper than the installable version of Office (I might know about amortization, but I never claimed to know grammar). It is, however, about a dollar a month cheaper than the online Office 365 version.

If you are already using Google Apps for free, you reportedly should be able to keep on keepin' on. And schools and non-profits can still sign up for free.

Google argues that paying is in your interest, as it will let them deliver a better service. This may be true, but it still feels like a bait and switch to me.

Am I too rough on the poor folks from Google? Are you a Google apps fan or foe? Answers to both are welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/29/2011 at 1:18 PM


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