Google is being sued for charging its users for its Workspace productivity suite.

The $5 million claim alleges the firm told early users of what eventually became Google Workspace they would be able to use a free version of the service for as long as Google provided it.

Google Apps began in 2006.

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It then changed to G Suite in 2016, and then again in 2020 when it became Google Workspace.

The case was filed in a San Jose district court on Friday, August 5.

It claims: “From 2006 until 2012, in order to convince potential users to leave well-developed suites of services offered by Google’s competitors (eg, Microsoft Office), Google made a promise to early adopters of Google Workspace.”

“Google promised that such users would always be provided a free version of Workspace (including at least the features that the service had when these customers signed up) as long as Google offered the Workspace service.”

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The complaint’s main claim is that the workplace applications that originally appeared in 2006 were developed with the help of feedback from those early adopters.

By 2012, it had changed into something Google felt was professional enough to set a fee for.

The lawsuit also chastises Google for abandoning its “don’t be evil” slogan and has reproduced statements made by the search giant at the time.

It included “…organizations that sign up during the beta period will not ever have to pay for users accepted during that period (provided Google continues to offer the service.”

“Don’t be evil” is a term in the Mountain View-based firm’s corporate code of conduct, and it was formerly used as a motto.

The lawyers claimed that “Google’s abandonment of the credo “don’t be evil” is well-illustrated in this case.”

Source: The Register

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