Microsoft 365 is swooping in to try and steal G Suite free customers

Microsoft is making a bold attempt to steal G Suite users over to its own office software offering.

The company is offering a 60% discount on its Microsoft 365 platform to former G Suite customers unhappy that they will soon have to pay for Google's services.

Google revealed recently that it would be ending free subscriptions to G Suite services such as Docs, Sheets, Meet and Gmail, instead “upgrading” users to a paid subscription by May 1 2022.

In the market

“Organizations of all sizes rely on productivity and collaboration tools to get work done—they’re what keep business humming. If you’re a small business that’s relied on G Suite legacy free edition, we couldn’t help but notice you might be in the market for a new solution,” Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365 wrote in a blog post

“We’ve got news for you: today, you can get a 60 percent discount on a 12-month Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, or Business Premium subscription, along with the help you need to make the move.”

The offer is exclusive to current G Suite legacy free edition users who purchase a 12 month Microsoft 365 subscription by August 2, 2022. 

Businesses based in the US will also get one year of free support with Business Assist for Microsoft 365, the company's platform that aims to help small businesses migrate and get up to speed quickly.

Google has not responded to the move yet, but Microsoft's bold action could pay off.

Many legacy G Suite users were left annoyed at Google's move, which will see the G Suite legacy free edition no longer available from July 1, 2022, with any users found not to have started paying after 60 days being locked out.

However a recent loophole could allow some non-business users a way out, with Google noting that anyone using G Suite legacy free edition for personal use and unwilling to upgrade to a Google Workspace subscription could possibly continue their current subscription for a little longer.

Google says it will automatically upgrade free users from May 1 to “an upgraded Google Workspace paid subscription” based on its analysis of the customer's usage and the features it thinks you'll need.

Google Workplace plans start at $ 6/user/month for its Business Starter option, with Business Standard ($ 12/user/month) and Business Plus ($ 18 /user/month) also on offer, providing an increasing level of services with the amount paid.

Google is offering a discount for twelve months, and won't start charging subscription fees until July 1, 2022. The company is also offering businesses who don't want to pay or upgrade the chance to export their data at no extra cost.

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Browser wars: Microsoft Edge is beginning to steal users from Google Chrome

New data suggests Microsoft Edge is slowly beginning to lure users away from Google Chrome, which has had a stranglehold on the web browser market for years now.

According to the latest figures from Statcounter, the Microsoft Edge market share exceeded 4% for the first time ever in November, cementing the browser’s place as the world’s third most popular service (behind only Safari and Chrome).

The only major browser to lose market share last month, meanwhile, was Google Chrome, which is now responsible for 64.04% of web activity, down from a peak of 65.27% in the summer.

Microsoft Edge vs. Google Chrome

Of course, the gap between Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome remains massive, and the latter won’t fall from the top spot any time soon.

However,  Microsoft will nonetheless be encouraged by the performance of its new flagship browser, with which it hopes to regain a foothold in the browser market after the infamous decline of Internet Explorer (which was once used by 95% of netizens).

Since the new Chromium-based Edge went live last year, its growth has been fueled in large part by the retirement of Edge Legacy and Internet Explorer, whose users Microsoft carefully funnelled towards its new service. To maintain this rate of growth, however, the company is tasked with figuring out how to lure people away from the likes of Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

In recent months, Microsoft has been aggressive in its attempts to push Edge, both leveraging the large Windows 10 and 11 install base to boost its user numbers and making it more difficult to switch default browsers (although it has since retreated a little on its position).

The company has also delivered a consistent stream of new features for the browser, ranging from new Microsoft 365 integrations to tools designed to help users save money in the run-up to Christmas.

After overtaking Mozilla’s browser in the rankings for the first time in July, Edge now appears to be successfully padding out its user base with converts from Chrome. Admittedly, progress is slow, but the signs are positive for Microsoft.

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