Google has announced the Google Workspace Essentials Starter, a new offering that will allow users to sign up for free access to Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, Drive, and Meet, in addition to using their existing work email. This move comes ten years after Google stopped providing free G Suite accounts, allowing businesses to host Google accounts on custom domains. Additionally, the move comes just weeks after Google first announced it would force customers to upgrade their current G Suite accounts into paid subscriptions on May 1 or risk losing access to services.
Essentials Starter acts as a legacy used by G Suite today. It does not require the conversion of files, plug-ins, or new desktop software, and all Essentials Starter tools will work in existing locations, Google says. Essentials Starter includes support for video conferences from three to 100 people up to 60 minutes and group messages via Google Chat, 15GB of storage in Google Drive (different from Google personal account limits), and a control and control panel dashboard.