[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Google Apps will not be free anymore, says Google.  The company is discontinuing its free apps package for a $50 per user, per year paid service that comes with 24/7 phone support for any issue, a 25GB inbox, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee with no scheduled downtime.  Google Apps for Education will continue to be available as a free service for schools and universities.  Google Apps for Government will continue to be $50 per user, per year as well.

Clay Bavor (Director,  Product Management, Google Apps, Google): When we launched the premium business version we kept our free, basic version as well. Both businesses and individuals signed up for this version, but time has shown that in practice, the experience isn’t quite right for either group. Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes.

If you are an existing customer, the changes will not affect you, even if you have been using the free version of Google Apps. If you are using the consumer-version of Gmail or Google Drive, have heart, the services continue to be free.