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Google Workspace is now available to anyone

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Tue 15 Jun 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Google has announced its Google Workspace platform is now available to anyone with a Google account.

Previously, Google Workspace was only available to businesses, non-profits, and classrooms. Now individuals or groups can access the full Google Workspace platform, including Gmail, Chat, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Meet, and more, all in one place. The platform is available on an individual subscription model.

In addition to offering Google Workspace to everyone, the company announced new updates to address the specific challenges and opportunities of hybrid work, including:

  • Rooms in Google Chat is now Spaces. Over the next few months, Google Workspace will evolve Rooms to become Spaces, which will also have a new interface. 
  • Enhanced security & privacy. From July, Google will introduce key moderation controls for hosts of Google Meet meetings, allowing them to prevent in-meeting chat, prohibit presenting during meetings, and mute or unmute participants. Google Workspace is also rolling out a number of security enhancements for Google Drive, including trust rules that help control how files can be shared within and outside an organisation. 

“Collaboration doesn’t stop at the workplace, our products have been optimised for broad participation, sharing and helpfulness since the beginning,” says Google Workspace VP and GM, Javier Soltero.

“Our focus is on delivering consumers, workers, teachers, and students alike an equitable approach to collaboration, while still providing the flexibility that allows these different subsets of users to take their own approach to communication and collaboration.”

Moor Insights & Strategy’s principal analyst, Patrick Moorhead, says “Ensuring that workers have access to best of breed collaboration tools and information, regardless of location, is a top priority for every company, especially as they navigate a return to the physical office

“With this update, Google Workspace is creating a new competitive advantage by optimising for a single, connected experience across its products that it is extending to consumers and individual business owners, to align with the experience that its enterprise and education subscribers benefit from today,” he says.

Google Spaces
Google says the Rooms experience in Google Chat will morph into a dedicated place for organising people, topics, and projects in Google Workspace. 

“Over the summer, we’ll evolve Rooms to become Spaces and launch a streamlined and flexible user interface that helps teams and individuals stay on top of everything that’s important,” says Soltero.

“Powered by new features like in-line topic threading, presence indicators, custom statuses, expressive reactions, and a collapsible view, Spaces will seamlessly integrate with files and tasks, becoming a new home in Google Workspace for getting more done.

He adds “Spaces will also provide a place to fuel knowledge sharing and community building for teams of all sizes, where all the relevant information, conversations, and files for a project can be organised, and where topics, even at the organisation level, can be intelligently moderated.”


 

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