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Google Apps No Longer Free for Small Businesses; Office 365 an Attractive Option

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December 18, 2012

Google Apps No Longer Free for Small Businesses; Office 365 an Attractive Option

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

Previously an ally to small businesses with restrictive budgets for IT, Google (News - Alert) is now charging to use its formerly free Gmail service as it hopes to grab more revenue outside of its Internet advertising business.

Google officials said the reason the company is charging for Google Apps is because businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes.

However, the change will not impact existing business customers, and individual users will still be able to use Google Apps, including Gmail and Google Drive, company officials said.

Google Apps for Business customers pay a monthly fee for each user, on one of two plans and all users on the account must be on the same plan.??

Google Apps, which rivals Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Office 365, has been popular among SMBs, but now that the search engine giant is charging for its word processing and business applications suite, Microsoft might see more opting for Office 365.

But users still claim that Microsoft doesn’t offer enough support to users. This is where businesses like SherWeb have solved a common problem, especially for small businesses.

SherWeb offers a communications and collaboration suite called SkyOffice, which features hosted Exchange 2010, Lync 2010 and SharePoint 2010. SkyOffice provides migration, customizable plans and customer care that is second to none, according to company officials.

Still not sure which is better: Google or Microsoft? Then check out this list of reasons why Office 365 may be the right choice for you.

  • An Internet connection is pretty much all you need to run this software. It’s able to run on practically any platform and doesn’t require a whole lot of hassle with wires, installation media, and other stuff you really don’t need to bug yourself with when you’re running large operations. This, in turn, makes you freer to reinvest in other ways as in-house expenditures shrink.
  • If something’s wrong with the software, it's not on your end. Microsoft will do all it can to keep Office 365 running smoothly.
  • The environment is a collaborative metropolis where your users will communicate through instant messaging, audio, and video found in the Lync component of Office 365.
  • Everything’s backed up, meaning that you don’t have to bother with the hassle of getting the equipment in-house to handle that.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Technology Marketing Corporation

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