As expected, Google announced Friday that it’ll stop accepting new sign-ups for the Standard Edition of Google Apps. The move means SMEs now have to count the per-user costs of using Google’s email service.
According to Google’s enterprise blog, the basic Google Apps package is being abandoned to streamline the service, offering businesses a single, $50 per user option that promises 24/7 phone support, 25GB inboxes and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Pre-existing free customers can still hum along unmolested, of course, and the standard pricing doesn’t apply to schools or universities, either.
Personal Google accounts are still free too, doling out gratis Gmail and Drive access to anyone with a unique user name. The team hopes that streamlining the Apps will allow it to provide better service, possibly offering enterprise users new features on a faster timetable.