Google Workspace Individual arrives in Europe
It's taken Mountain View a year to refine the service for the Continent
It has taken just over a year, but Google has finally made its Google Workspace Individual product available to European customers.
Launched in June 2021, the service was originally on offer only to customers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan. Australia was added, but Europe? A solid nope from Mountain View.
This has now changed. For €8.99 per month (£7.99 in the UK) users with a Google account can get access to a plethora of additional features. Group meetings can now drone on for 24 hours and include extras such as call recording, noise cancellation, polls and dial-in, as well as "immersive backgrounds" and improved lighting.
Appointment scheduling includes a booking page showing a user's availability and is configured and managed in Google Calendar. Customizable layouts and multi-send are supported in Gmail and there is, apparently, a team of Google experts on hand to help with Workspace problems.
It could be a compelling set of tools for a single user (something like Google Workspace Essentials might make more sense for a team) although the insistence on a Google email address might annoy some. Those wanting to use a custom email address with their own domain are gently directed toward Google Workspace by the ad giant. Storage is also limited, and more than the most basic of capacities will incur additional cost (100GB, for example, requires €1.99 per month (£1.59 in the UK) or a bit less with an annual commitment).
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Google has bet big on its collaboration tools, although arch-rival Microsoft will also cheerfully sell interested parties products such as Microsoft 365 Business Basic for €5.10 (£4.50 in UK) per user per month, which permits custom domain names for email – although it lacks some of the goodies that Google Workspace Individual has.
Online services have traditionally been a natural fit for Google, and it has had a year to make adjustments to the service after its launch (and also, we suspect, to take a close look at the needs of European regulators). We can imagine Google Workspace Individual appealing to users already in the Google world, but needing a few more services without having to go all-in on Workspace.
Is it enough to make a user jump ship from another provider? Probably not. And the addition of yet another subscription tier might also add to the confusion of users squinting at tables of feature comparisons. ®