Thursday, February 17, 2022

G Suite for Education Reduces Free Storage

Shantanu Sinha, in 2021:

We’ve learned that a one-size-fits all approach isn’t what educators need from tools like G Suite for Education. Whether you’re in a rural elementary school, urban university or homeschool setting, our technology and tools should adapt so you can focus on what matters most: teaching and learning. That’s why we’re making a few changes to provide you greater choice and flexibility in selecting the best tools to empower your institution.


Our free edition G Suite for Education will be renamed to Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals. If you’re currently using this edition, you won’t see any changes besides a new name and new features. We’ll keep building new solutions for this free version by listening closely to educators and their needs.


Google has traditionally offered unlimited storage to qualifying schools and universities for free. However, as we’ve grown to serve more schools and universities each year, storage consumption has also rapidly accelerated. Storage is not being consumed equitably across — nor within — institutions, and school leaders often don’t have the tools they need to manage this. To support schools into the future and ensure fair distribution of this valuable resource, we will be implementing a new pooled storage model and helping admins and school leaders manage their storage.

Bryan William Jones (Hacker News):

Looks like the unlimited storage that Google promised my university a couple years ago is being discontinued, and the entire institution is being limited to 100TB… I can fill that 5 times over with our data.


This feels like Google Reader all over again.

Via Oliver Hunt:

Yeah, so google is pretty much entirely a bait and switch operation: they offer vastly more storage than others, and they do so for “cheaper” but if people actually use that storage they will cancel or start charging for the service.

Even at google’s scale they cannot give things away for free. Email can be “free” because they mine it for data - gmail is why amazon no longer includes order details in email. Android is “free” because they get to harvest all their user’s data.


Update (2022-03-09): Nick Heer:

It all reeks of dishonesty. Why should anyone trust Google if it constantly pulls these bait-and-switch moves? It also smells of market position abuse. How many other companies can start and stop projects on a whim? How many other companies can give away storage until individuals and businesses and institutions are fully locked-in, and then turn around and charge them a fortune? The only reason this does not have a greater negative effect on Google is because its primary business has nothing to do with selling services. So long as its dominant advertising business is raking in cash, it has the flexibility to do this same trick over and over.

Update (2022-03-23): John Gordon:

Google’s top secret option for Google apps users facing doom

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Extraordinarily frustrating, and slightly surprising that there aren't more long term contracts regarding this. Nearly every academic institution I know has signed on to GSuite due to the low cost and unlimited storage, having alumni maintain their accounts for free is a pretty great selling point. Now, we are in a position where schools need to support multiple cloud services that are all offering similar things at similar price points, and we can't drop them since there is so much friction to move between services.

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