Well, that didn’t take long.
There is hope for users of Google’s “legacy” free G Suite accounts. Last week, Google announced a brutal policy change—it would shut down the Google Apps accounts of users who signed up during the first several years when the service was available for free. Users who had a free G Suite account were given two options: start paying the per-user monthly fee by July 2022 or lose your account.
Naturally, this move led to a huge outcry outside (and apparently inside) Google, and now, the company seems to be backing down from most of the harsher terms of the initial announcement. First, Google is launching a survey of affected G Suite users—apparently, the company is surprised by how many people this change affected. Second, it’s promising a data-migration option (including your content purchases) to a consumer account before the shutdown hits.
This migration option is all we’ve ever wanted, for years now. We’ve been asking Google over and over to give us this option, because those affected had seen the writing on the wall years ago. It highlights just how incompetent Google is at customer feedback that they were at all surprised by this in any way.
It remains to be seen if users can keep the email with custom domain on the migration or if users will have to adopt a new gmail address (and subsequently setup possibly fragile forwarding)