G Suite was officially renamed to Google Workspace back in 2020, when the company started reorganizing its resources and goals to support future working, with remote options in mind. The service has existed for many years now, and Google made several changes to its plans, and it continued getting rid of the G Suite legacy edition, which was free.
According to an email that was sent out to administrators (via 9to5Google), organizations that are still using the G Suite legacy free edition will soon be required to sign up for a paid subscription for each user (that’s $6 / user / month with Business Starter, which can go up to $18 / user / month). Google “will now transition all remaining users to an upgrade Google Workspace paid subscription based on your usage.” Google says that it will automatically upgrade free plans to the paid subscription “based on features you currently use”, and if payment information is already provided. Organizations have until July 1st to enter their payment information, and Google will only starting charging customers after this date.
The email further highlights that switching is simple, and organizations will receive discounted prices for 12 months after July 1, 2022:
“Upgrading from your G Suite legacy free edition to Google Workspace will only take you a few short steps and is not disruptive to your end-users. To support you in this transition, you will have discount options for 12 months after July 1, 2022. [...] After 60 days in suspension, you will no longer have access to Google Workspace core services, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Meet. You may still retain access to additional Google services, such as YouTube and Google Photos. Enter a valid form of payment to restore your suspended account”
If an organization doesn’t share its payment details and decides not to go down the route of paying for Google Workspace, the company will suspend the account for 60 days, after which users will be unable to access Workspace’s “core services,” such as Gmail, Google Meet and more. Google also made an FAQ for organizations and administrators if you want to read more on how this works.