Google Workspace is now available for everyone
The move means all of the tech giant's three billion users can access the full Google Workspace platform
Google is aiming to broaden the appeal of its online productivity suite, Google Workspace, by making it freely available to anyone that has a Google account.
This means that all of the company's three billion users, from enterprise to education, can access the full Google Workspace platform, and apps like Gmail, Chat, Docs and more, without the need to pay for a subscription. Some paid-for tiers will remain, however, along with a new tier designed exclusively for sole traders.
There are also new features for the free tier that address specific challenges workers will face with the switch to hybrid working, These include updates to Google Chat, new subscription offers and greater security across the platform.
"Collaboration doesn't stop at the workplace - our products have been optimised for broad participation, sharing and helpfulness since the beginning," said Javier Soltero, VP and GM, Google Workspace.
"Our focus is on delivering consumers, workers, teachers and students alike an equitable approach to collaboration, while still providing flexibility that allows these different subsets of users to take their own approach to communication and collaboration."
The biggest change for free users is that Google Rooms has evolved into 'Google Spaces'. This is effectively a private chat area, similar to those found Slack or Microsoft Teams, where groups of users can chat and collaborate via text or video call.
Reduce management overhead by transforming VDI and app management
How to support a distributed workforce with VMware Horizon Control PlaneDownload now
There are a range of new functions within this, such as 'threads' and presence indicators that let users know if participants are free or available to talk. Users can also pin messages to Spaces so that important announcements don't get lost amongst the general chatter.
Google is also adding a Companion Mode to Google Meet which it claims allows everyone to continuously contribute to meetings, no matter if they are in the office or at home.
For the paid-tier, Google has added client-side document encryption which will allow businesses to use their own encryption keys.
IT best practices for accelerating the journey to carbon neutrality
Considerations and pragmatic solutions for IT executives driving sustainable ITFree Download
The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Spectrum Virtualize
Cost savings and business benefits enabled by storage built with IBMSpectrum VirtualizeFree download
Using application migration and modernisation to supercharge business agility and resiliency
Modernisation can propel your digital transformation to the next generationFree Download
The strategic CFO
Why finance transformation propels business valueFree Download