A few days ago Google announced that they will shut down "G Suite legacy free edition" and that all users that still use the G Suite legacy free edition need to either upgrade to the paid version by 1 July 2022 or all your data will be removed.
A subscription to the paid version starts at 6 dollar per user for the most basic version. What you essentially get for that 6 dollar version is the same as a free Gmail account.
I started using this service for a family domain name around 2006 when it was first launched in beta as Google Apps for domains, where they promised it would stay free as long as the service existed. Well it does still exist but they changed the name a few times around and now its magically a new product, and so in their eyes the old one doesn't exist anymore even though it still contains all the same things.. (even less than when it started).
Anyway the main usage in my case was for family members to have their own email address <name>@<familyname>.tld instead of a generic Hotmail, Gmail or provider mail account.
Multiple family members are using it now since around 2006, mainly for their mail, but also for things like YouTube, Google login for websites and on their android phone for app purchased and so on. And now we are being forced to either pay or risk all our data being destroyed by Google.
For email I don't really care, that will be moved to a new paid provider (Tutanota) and old emails are easy to backup.
The biggest problem I have with this move from google is that they threaten to remove all other data including your YouTube channel, Google store purchases and other data that normally comes free with a normal Gmail account. They don't offer any way to transfer that data to a free Gmail account.
In my case I have enough of the way google is treating its customers. This is not the first time they close down a service or even stop with supporting a physical product after taking over a company with the promise that they will keep supporting it.
From now on I will slowly phase out everything related to google that I still use and replace it with either paid privacy friendly products or self hosted software where I control everything. And i would suggest others to do the same or at least have a backup plan in case Google kills their next service.. (https://killedbygoogle.com/ )
Update: Google has added this to their faq now:
Q. What happens to my additional Google services and paid content if I don’t want to pay for Google Workspace premium features?
A. If you don’t upgrade to a Google Workspace subscription, you will not lose access to other Google Services, including YouTube, Google Photos, and Google Play, nor paid content, including YouTube and Play Store purchases.
So it seems after the update in their FAQ you do keep all of your other data except your email.
For me it wont change anything I will still move away from any Google related product.
Google has added the following to their faq now:
Q. What if I use G Suite legacy free edition for personal use and don't want to upgrade to a Google Workspace subscription?
A. Upgrading to a Google Workspace subscription is a seamless transition for all customers currently on the G Suite legacy free edition. However, we understand some customers may not use their G Suite legacy free edition for business and may be interested in other options. If you have 10 or fewer users in your group and do not use your G Suite legacy free edition for business, please sign in to your administrator account to provide more information.
Sign in to an administrator account (doesn't end in gmail.com).
Note that even if you decide you don't want to upgrade to Google Workspace, you'll still retain access to additional Google services and paid content purchased though non-Google Workspace services made with your legacy edition account (such as movies purchased on Google Play). Learn more above.
Q. If I don’t want to upgrade to a paid subscription, can I transfer my data?
A. In the coming months, we'll provide an option for you to move your non-Google Workspace paid content and most of your data to a no-cost option. This new option won't include premium features like custom email or multi-account management. You'll be able to evaluate this option prior to July 1, 2022 and prior to account suspension. We'll update this article with details in the coming months.
As it seems now they will let us register a gmail account which we can use to transfer al our purchases on, its better than nothing i guess.