"Starting today, we're no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you're currently using). Because you're already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free."Note that Gmail is a Google app as listed on the business site.
But I'm grandfathered in because I'm an existing user. That's supposed to make me feel comfy and warm, I suppose.
Of course I can upgrade to business apps any time for $60/year. ($5/month! It's a bargain!)
What can I surmise from this? One or more of the following:
- The Google model of doing things for free and basing them on advertising revenue is failing.
- The acquisitions Google has made haven't been paying off.
- Someone has to pay for the billion dollars Google has invested in clean energy.
- Google+ is not working.
If I had to bet it would be on number 1. I have to admit I don't even see the Google ads on sites unless they actually obscure what I'm looking at. Which, of course, makes we wonder on the actual value of ads at all. I don't see them on sites. I fast forward them on TV. I skip them as soon as possible on Youtube.
I use Google sites, Google blogger and GMail. If I were pressed against the wall I might consider paying the $60/year for it but it would be with great reluctance and considerable searching to make sure it's the right fit.
As it is I just use Google because it's free. Not because it's good.