The Google Apps and Google Apps for Business cloud-based computing services provide online communication, messaging and collaborative working tools to individual users, small businesses and large corporations. There’s no minimum user requirement but the standard, nonbusiness version of Google Apps imposes a maximum limit of 10 users.
Google Apps and User Limits
The standard Google Apps service is designed for individual users and small businesses with few employees. The service is free but provides many of the same applications as the premium Google Apps for Business service. Applications include Google Calendar, Google Reader, Gmail, Google Docs and Google Sites. Google Apps defines a user as a separate email address. Although Google doesn’t impose a minimum user limit for the standard Google Apps service, it caps the number of users at a maximum of 10.
Google Apps for Business and User Limits
Google Apps for Business is targeted at large companies with multiple users. In addition to the applications available in the standard service, Google Apps for Business also offers the Google Video for Business and Google Groups for Business applications. The service offers more email storage space per user than standard Google Apps offers, and it’s compatible with Microsoft Outlook and BlackBerry mobile devices. The premium service charges a monthly fee per user. Google Apps for Business defines each user as a separate email address. There’s no minimum user requirement and, unlike with the standard Google Apps service, you can add an unlimited number of users.
Selecting the Right Google Apps Service
Even though there’s no minimum user requirement for either of the Google Apps services, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each service before signing up. If you need to add more than 10 people to Google Apps, choose the premium Google Apps for Business service. Small companies with fewer than 10 users might still go for the premium service to benefit from the additional applications and increased email storage space for each user.
Google Apps for Business User Pricing Plans
At the time of publication, Google Apps for Business offers two pricing plans. The Flexible Plan charges a monthly fee per user account. You can add or remove users at any time, and Google charges you only for the accounts that are active during the month. The Annual Plan option charges a discounted annual fee per user but commits you to the service for a year.
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