Tech giant Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is repackaging its cloud-based productivity tools for business customers. The app suite formerly known as the G Suite is now bringing its 2 billion users under the new Google Workspace banner, positioning the office suite as a more-direct alternative to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Office.
The change was announced early Tuesday morning in a blog post from G Suite/Workspace vice president Javier Soltero. Google Workspace is not adding any new tools to the G Suite portfolio, sticking with the same 14 included applications and 4 security tools as its predecessor. As before, every plan includes popular applications such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and Meet.
Workspace offers three pricing plans plus custom contracts for enterprise customers. That's up from two distinct pricing plans in G Suite. The plans for $6 and $12 per user per month have been joined by an $18 option, expanding the cloud-based storage per user and adding a handful of account management tools. Under this plan, Google Meet video meetings can host up to 250 participants, up from 100 or 150 attendees for the lower-priced plans.
Besides the new brand identity with additional service plans and a few redesigned application logos, Google Workspace promises a more deeply integrated work experience. All paying customers can reach all of the included tools from a single launch page, and many of the tools are sharing their experiences in new ways. For example, the Google Meet chat stream has direct access to previewing linked documents in Docs or Sheets.
These changes bring Google's productivity suite closer to the tightly coordinated work experience in Microsoft Office with the Outlook email add-on. Workspace is a small part of the Google Cloud division, where revenue rose 43% year over year to $3 billion in the second quarter of 2020.