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Google Workspace is the new name and brand identity for a tailored and combined G Suite for its paying users. And the best part? While not available yet, there will be a consumer version too.

Google Workspace

Apart from a new identity – Google Workspace (website here) brings together its messaging, meetings, docs, and task into a consistent interface. The interface features tools that don’t require you to swap to separate apps, making it easier to share information between them. This includes:

  • Linked previews in Docs, Sheets and Slides
  • Embedded @mentions to better identify interested parties
  • Docs creations within Rooms in Chat
  • Meet picture-in-picture across Docs, Sheets and Slides
You’ll be able to create documents, even without leaving the chat that you’re in.

The aim is to have a single ‘work-processor’ instead of multiple, disparate apps that you need to jump between.

Google Workspace is initially for paying business customers and will flow on to education and Nonprofits in the coming months. While no date is set, we can also expect a consumer version to be announced this year.

Google Workspace – why now?

“Google Workspace is the end of the ‘office’ as we know it,” says Javier Soltero, VP and GM of Google Workspace. “Google’s collaboration and communication products fuel productivity and connect our team in ways that were not possible before.”

A Picture in Picture mode means you’ll be able to see who you’re collaborating with as you move between apps such as Gmail, Chat, Docs, Sheets, Slides and more.

Work is no longer a place to go. Its what you do when and where you do it. The ‘work from home’ (WFH) shift is not going away and this creates new challenges compared to traditional business culture. Specific issues like time flexibility, household duties etc., can interrupt the 9-to-5 office routine.

So the idea is that Google Workspace brings new tools to regain some of that routine, whether it is on a smartphone, PC or tablet in or out of the office.

Linked previews in Docs, Sheets and Slides allow you to view the content of a link without leaving the original document.

Safety first

Privacy and security are, of course, a big consideration for businesses. In response, there are new features to create flexible workspaces that scale:

  • Increased safety for Meet and Chat users including classification, audit logging and detection
  • New admin tools for Meet and Chat and a holistic view
  • Security Insights to help identify data exfiltration, policy violations and hijacked accounts
  • Data protection insights
  • Rule consistency tests
  • Device management
  • New privacy tools for the Google Cloud including privacy frameworks and privacy information management system (PIMS), context-aware access, Google verified third-party apps and Google Vault/eDiscovery

Pricing

Small Business <300 seats (via Google Business G Suite resellers)

  • Starter – $6/user
  • Standard – $12 per user – more storage
  • Plus $18/user includes Vault and MDM

A detailed costs summary (USD) can be found here.

For existing G Suite users

G Suite licenses continue until you transition to Google Workspace. Tailored Enterprise editions are available.

Familiar Google G Suite icons have a new look.

GadgetGuy’s take – Google Workspace is a new way to work

This is a preliminary announcement, and we will follow Google Workspace over the coming weeks to see what it offers to small and big business alike. We’ll also be on the lookout for the consumer version, and what makes it different.