I’ve been using Google apps standard edition for small businesses since the past 8 years. It was a real boon for small businesses, they could go online with Gmail ID’s in the form of @yourbusiness.com for free. When they launched Google Apps the free offer was for 50 users, then they reduced it over time eventually to 10 users.
From 6 Dec 2012, the Standard edition of Google Apps is no longer available. The minimum cost per user for business edition is now $50 per user per year. Existing Google Apps free users can keep their standard accounts. The idea is that individual users should create free Gmail accounts but businesses or organisations that need a custom domain name as part of their email addresses should pay.
While this transition seems logical, there are millions of free Google apps users who would not have used the service at $50 per user per year. It also means going forward, people who need such a service have to look elsewhere.
Now where would that be? Time for another startup to fill the gap.