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In a nutshell: Google had recently made some changes to migrate free-tier users of G Suite to paid subscriptions with no clear path if they didn’t want to pay. After some backlash, it has now promised non-paid options for users who don’t want to lose their data.
Google recently changed the FAQ page for upgrading to Google Workspace, including a section for those using free G Suite who don’t want to move to a paid subscription. It says Google will provide another option sometime this year that won’t cost anything and will let them keep most of their data.
Users will be able to examine this option before July 1 – the last deadline before G Suite users either start paying for Google Workspace or lose much of their data.
Google has also directed those users to a survey which asks how they use G Suite. This could be an indication it’s still evaluating how it should design this new no-cost option. Google might not have known that many free users aren't actually using G Suite's features for business.
Legacy G Suite users are those who created accounts for the free basic tier of Google’s productivity service before 2012, when the company replaced it with Google Workspace. Free-tier G Suite users could keep using legacy G Suite without paying a subscription.
Earlier this month however, Google notified them that they had until May to migrate to Workspace. The company would automatically migrate them on May 1, but not charge them until July 1, at which point it would cancel any users who hadn’t set up a payment plan.
Those users could potentially lose data from services like Gmail, Calendar, and Meet, but not YouTube or Google Photos. The survey and recent changes seem to be in response to backlash.