Google is set to begin charging small companies for the use of its Google Apps services, in a big to grow its revenue outside of its core online advertising stream.
The plan will see businesses pay an annual sum of $50 a year for access to Google Drives and Gmail, although individual users will not face any charges.
According to Clay Bavor, director of product management with Google Apps, who explained in a blog, the decision will allow the company to focus more on developing further opportunities for its business customers.
“Our customers may also receive support through our web-based support portal, online help forms, and online help center. All support cases are handled directly by trained Google Apps experts,” she added of the service.
Small businesses will also receive a 25GB limitation on their inbox and a 99.9 per cent uptime guarantee of no scheduled downtime, the company has promised.