Google is doubling down on its offer to give Google Apps away for free to Microsoft customers.
Google is extending its offer to companies who buy Microsoft software via an Enterprise Agreement which most medium and large customers do.
An EA is one catch-all contract, usually lasting about three years, which covers all the Microsoft software a company will use. Microsoft typically bundles and discounts prices when software is bought in this way.
Any company with an EA can use Google Apps for free until their EA expires. In other words, even if a company is already paying for Microsoft Office, they can switch to Google immediately, or just try it, for free.
Google originally made this offer back in October, but it was limited to companies that had between 250 and 3,000 users.
As of Tuesday, Google is now opening it up to small businesses with 100 users.
Google is also willing to help with other costs, such as hiring a consultant to migrate users from Office to Apps. Plus a number of Google’s partners are offering discounts to their apps for the duration of this sales promotion, too.
This kind of thing actually fits into Google’s master plan for Office.
In early 2015, Google for Work president Amit Singh said he had a plan to nab 80% of Microsoft Office customers not by trying to convince companies to ditch Office, but to get them to also use Apps and let employees choose.
Microsoft, of course, has been fighting back, and by mid-2015, Microsoft seemed to be succeeding. By some accounts, Office 365 was beating Apps in terms of the number of users at large companies.
Google Apps remains popular with startups and small companies, those who don’t really buy Microsoft software at all, and don’t have EA agreements.
But Google says that its carrot of free Apps has been working. Since October, Google says it has signed on another 200,000 Google Apps users.