Missing a trick? Google to charge for Gmail


Google’s email offering has helped to revolutionise the way in which small business operate, providing a number of functions to help make communication easier.


I for one use it, preferring it to Microsoft Outlook, despite initially being reluctant to adopt the search giant’s email platform over Microsoft’s ever reliable office variant.


Aside from the ability to store and sync items with Google Docs, another major attraction for SMEs is that Gmail is free – but all that is about to change.


This week, Google announced that firms with ten people or fewer will now need to pay $50 per user per year (around £33), which is equivalent to the rate larger businesses pay.


It will allow them to take advantage of the entire suite of Google Apps software, which includes email, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation tools.


According to the internet giant, the change will enable it to offer a more consistent service to business customers,


“Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes,” Google said in a statement.


Some have claimed it is a cynical revenue-boosting measure from Google, which has only recently been criticised for not taking advantage of tax loopholes in the UK as a means of minimising expenditure.


However, when the entire outlay is taken into account (a business with ten employees would have to pay £330) a year, the difference is really negligible.


Set against the potential benefits and cost savings of using an intuitive system that is now increasingly becoming commonplace in businesses around the world – making it easy to share documents with any person in any global organisation – the outlay is worth it.


Though the expenditure is something that organisations would clearly choose to avoid, particularly those aiming to cut costs in these austere times, you can’t put a price on productivity.


Posted by the Secret Businessman