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Google Apps for Businesses Is No Longer Free

The media giant Google announced today their “Google Apps for Businesses” must now be purchase for $50 a year.

The services will include email, a calendar and an online “office suite,” which should host a number of helpful applications to run a business.  Users will also now be able to purchase additional storage as well as archiving service.

Businesses that already sign up for Google’s app services will still be able to use the service for free along with individual users.

According to the latest studies, Google’s services are now used by 50 percent of the world wide population. In 2011, over 40 million people used a Google service, such as Google’s search engine, g-mail, and huge number of other applications.

Not to be left behind, Microsoft has released a similar package called “Office 365” which offers similar services, as well as online versions of Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and Excel.  Microsoft plans to charge users a slightly higher fee of $6 per month for the service.

Google first launched its “Google Apps for Businesses” in 2007 and was free for most small business based upon the number of employees using the product within the company.  Since this time, the company has slowly decreased the number of employees allowed to qualify for the free small business service from 50 employees to 10.  The free service is now no longer available for small business.