Google Apps Removes Free Account Link from its Front Page
Free account on Google Apps now is united with trial Google Apps for business, free for 30 days.
Google is gradually switching some of its services to commercial model. It happens, like in the case of Google Apps, that no official word about the changes was given. The home page of the service has been altered a bit: a link to signing to a free account is missing. Instead the customers are encouraged to try Google Apps for business. The plan is free for a month.
There is a note that the customer can downgrade to free Google Apps at any moment. However, the lack of a separate free account, as it was before, rises the concern about the fate of user's data after the trial period ends. The first to get worried was TechCrunch, and the blog asked Google for comments, but not a sound from the Internet corporation yet.
Google Apps offers several web applications much alike to other office suites for business. The service is used by approximately 5 million companies and 40 million users. A free plan is designed for individuals and small companies employing up to 10 people.
Business plan with additional features is intended for larger companies. They have to pay a monthly fee of $5 per user or $50 per user for a year.
It's interesting that the free trial business plan dominates U.S. version of web-site. The Russian-language version of Google Apps, for example, was not changed. And it is still focused on free plan features.