Google letting businesses use Workspace, sans Gmail, for free with ‘Essentials Starter’ edition

Google’s latest move to boost Workspace targets businesses that have existing email systems, but do not have access to modern productivity apps. The big selling point of Google Workspace Essentials Starter edition is how it’s free with “no limited trial period.”

Workspace Essentials Starter edition primarily includes Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as well as Chat (with Spaces) and Meet (calls up to 100 people and 60 minutes long) for communication. Like a free personal account, storage is limited to 15GB. The biggest thing missing is of course Gmail, with Google positioning this offering for companies that have a legacy system in place. 

There’s no need for a new email address, file conversions, new plug-ins, or desktop software. All of the tools in Essentials Starter will work quickly and easily within your existing environment. 

The “no-cost Essentials Starter account” requires signing-up with a work email, while Google advertises how there is “no limited trial period.” As such, the incentive to upgrade is when an organization grows out of the Starter edition and needs more functionality.

With today’s launch, Google is closing new online sign-ups for the original Essentials offering announced in May 2020 that supported bigger video meetings and additional storage (100GB per account, 2TB pooled cloud storage) at $8 per user/month. It will remain available for existing customers.

In all, Essentials Starter is a good way for Google to attract more Workspace users by letting them do actual work before migrating over.

And starting today, with Essentials Starter, employees at your organization can make the switch from legacy productivity tools and experience the difference with Google Workspace.

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