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Google Apps users face price hike

Keeping in-line with the dollar

By Martin Veitch, CIO (UK)
April 09, 2009 10:10 AM ET

CIO (UK) - Google is raising prices on the paid version of its Apps suite in a move the firm says is intended to bring broad alignment with sterling-to-US dollar valuations. Instead of paying 25 per user per year, firms will now pay 33 per user per year when they begin or renew contracts.

The move is the first increase the firm has made, although in January this year it did introduce new terms that made firms with over 50 seats sign up for the Premier edition. Google said that the 33 price had been introduced as part of a quarterly review where data underlined the disparity between the UK pricing and that of the US, where firms pay $50 per user per year.

"People sometimes buy across global currencies and a large US firm with a UK subsidiary could be buying at a discount price," said Google Enterprise EMEA product manager Dave Armstrong. However, Armstrong claimed that he knew of no cases where that loophole was being deliberately exploited.

IDC analyst David Bradshaw said, "It's a bit of unfortunate for them but there's been such a big change in currency valuation that I can't see any alternative. It never looks good when you raise prices and people take it for granted when prices go down. If I were a customer with large numbers of users I'd be asking for negotiation."

Google's Armstrong said that the firm is continuing to see about 3,000 businesses per day sign up for Apps.

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