- Medal 'victory' for forgotten Falklands hero as government U-turn paves the way for paratrooper to receive top gallantry award
- The world's most beautiful hotel facades
- EXCLUSIVE - Beauty queen 'murderer' claims he is 'in pain' after shooting dead his mistress and her sister Miss Honduras with TWENTY TWO bullets... but still won't admit he's guilty
- Former British infantryman joins Kurdish fighters in Syria defending beleaguered town against ISIS
- Former Scotland Yard detectives say young boys were murdered by Westminster paedophile ring
- The 'hidden epidemic': Thousands of Australians believed to be suffering from Lyme disease forced to travel overseas to seek treatment as government continues to dismiss it
- Woman 'sacked for turning off colleague's power washer at car showroom during two-minute silence for Armistice Day'
- Moscow Zoo unveils rare red panda Zane from Dublin
- Are Australian parents the hardest working in the world? Mums and dads spend the most hours at work by world standards
- Wealthy Americans pay £64,000 to dine with Wills and Kate at New York museum fundraiser for their old university
Google to charge small businesses for Web-based Apps software
More from Tech
- Samsung files ITC complaint to block Nvidia chips from U.S.: Bloomberg
- Seattle police body cameras plan revived by deal with anonymous programmer
- GameStop attracts bearish options bets after weak results hit shares
- Apple $450 million e-book settlement gets final court approval
- Thales to name dual successors to CEO Levy: source
By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Dec 6, 2012 9:07pm EST
(Reuters) - Google Inc will no longer offer its Web-based office productivity software free to small businesses, the Internet company's latest move to expand revenue beyond its core advertising services.
Google said on Thursday that businesses with 10 or fewer people will now need to pay $50 per user per year - the same rate that larger businesses pay - to use its Google Apps software which includes email, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation tools.
The change will let Google offer a more consistent service to business customers, the company said in a post on its company blog.
"Businesses quickly outgrow the basic version and want things like 24/7 customer support and larger inboxes," Google said.
Individual consumers will still be able to get a free version of many of the products, such as Gmail, Google said. And existing business customers who use the free version will continue to get it for free, though they will not receive the additional services included in the premium version.
More than 5 million businesses use Google's Apps, Google said earlier this year, though it did not distinguish between customers who use the free or paid versions.
The move marks the latest change to Google Apps, which until 2011 was available for free to businesses with 50 or fewer people.
In June, Google launched the Google Compute Engine, which provides online computing services to a limited set of customers.
Google, the world's No.1 Web search engine, generates the bulk of its revenue from online advertising.
Google does not disclose the revenue that its so-called enterprise business generates, but the company has signaled its hopes that it will become an important part of Google's overall business. In July, Google Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora described the enterprise business as a "future growth engine" for Google.
(Reporting By Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Chris Gallagher)