Microsoft tempts G Suite customers with 60% discount

Don't fancy paying for a Google sub after cutoff date? Pay Microsoft instead

Microsoft has responded to Google's plan to shift users of G Suite's "legacy free edition" to paid subscriptions with the offer of a 60 per cent discount on a year of Microsoft 365.

The offer only applies to a Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, or Business Premium subscription.

It's all a far cry from the previous decade, where Microsoft worried there was a danger of losing out to Google in the cloud applications game. Since then, the Windows giant has cashed in with its Microsoft 365 subscription model and is confident enough to make a move on customers jumpy about a forced move to paid Google subscriptions with an offer of its own.

As for what Google is up to, on 1 May it plans to begin automatically upgrading users to a Google Workspace subscription "based on the features you currently use."

Users must then set up billing before 1 July or face the suspension of their account. After 60 days in suspension, access to core services such as Gmail, Calendar and Meet will be pulled until a valid form of payment is provided.

Microsoft's offer ends on 2 August, and the company has additionally promised "the help you need to make the move." That'll be a year of free support from Business Assist for Microsoft 365, one feature of which is "personalized help moving all your current files (email, storage, documents, and communication) to Microsoft 365."

All of Microsoft's plans include what the company calls "business-class email" (assuming its servers stay upright), 1TB of cloud storage, and web and mobile versions of its Office apps. The Standard and Premium tiers also include the familiar desktop versions of those all-important productivity tools.

"When it comes to security, reliability, performance, and support, we've got you covered," said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, whose Admin Portal fell over earlier this month.

It's not a bad deal, although G Suite users could stick with Google if they're willing to wait and see. In the company's posting on the matter, it promised there would be a way "to move your non-Google Workspace paid content and most of your data to a no-cost option," although the advertising giant has yet to disclose what form that would take.

It is also offering its own "region-based discounts on Business editions starting at 50 per cent for the first 12 months after July 1, 2022."

The Register asked Google if it had a specific response to Redmond's offer or might consider pushing back the switchover date, but we haven't heard back. ®

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