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Google G Suite becomes Workspace, gets new pricing levels

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

Anindito Mukherjee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On Tuesday, the parent of Google Alphabet announced that its group of G Suite productivity apps, including Gmail, will be renamed Google Workspace and will have multiple pricing tiers. The new name better reflects how various applications, such as the Google Meet video calling service, are available from other applications, such as Google Docs.

The changes could help Google increase revenue and become a more formidable challenger for Microsoft, whose Office 365 applications are most popular for business use. Any growth could lift Google̵

7;s cloud business, which reduces Alphabet’s reliance on Google’s advertising business, an operation that faltered in the second quarter under the pressure of a pandemic and recession.

Google’s consumer services such as Gmail and Google Drive are widely used, and the company has been trying for years to replicate that success within businesses, schools and nonprofits. But Microsoft remains dominant in the email and document creation software market, with 87.6 percent share in 2019, according to industry research firm Gartner. Google had 11.5%, up from 10.5% in 2018.

The Basic and Business versions of G Suite, which cost $ 6 and $ 12 per user per month, will remain available as Business Starter and Business Standard plans for customers with 300 seats or fewer. A new Business Plus option with enhanced security features will cost $ 18 per user per month. There is also a new Essentials tier for teams and departments, which will be available for $ 8 per user per month. Large companies can contact Google sellers, as before.

The new offerings “should definitely translate into much more value for customers,” said Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager of Google Workspace.

In addition to the name and price changes, Google is changing the branding of different service logos to use all four colors in Google’s core logo, and is introducing a handful of new features. For example, when one user mentions a colleague by name in a document, other users can hover over the name to find contact information. Additionally, the Google Chat team communication app will allow users to create documents from within their text conversations.

Google has already tried to change the branding to augment their corporate products.

In 2014, Google renamed Google Enterprise, which included many of its business products, such as Google for Work.

In 2016, Google’s cloud chief at the time, Diane Greene, introduced the G Suite branding to encompass Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other productivity apps. Previously, these online services were known as Google Apps, a name first used in 2006. Around the same time, the company renamed other Google for Work services such as Google Cloud.

Former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian replaced Greene as Google’s cloud leader in January 2019, and Google raised prices for G Suite during that time. In October 2019, Soltero joined Google from Microsoft, where he had been a corporate vice president working on Office and virtual assistant Cortana.

In February, Alphabet began disclosing quarterly cloud revenues. It recorded $ 3.0 billion in the second quarter, up 43% from the quarter a year ago.

CLOCK: Google’s work-from-home order was extended to June 2021

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