Google Apps For Work is now called G Suite

Angus Kidman 30 September 2016

GSuite

And what exactly counts as Google Cloud these days?

Overnight, Google decided it would be a fine idea to go around and rename all the things. Google Apps for Work, the paid-for platform that lets you use your own domain name with Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts and various other productivity tools, is now going to be known as G Suite.

Fair enough: having that distinction might help make it much clearer when a new feature is going to be available to actual paying customers. In the past, Google has often introduced new features for Gmail and waited months before making them available to businesses that actually cough up money for its services. With luck, that will change now there's a distinct name. We've already seen an announcement of new Google Calendar features for "G Suite customers", which is a promising start. We'll have to suffer through a lot of "G Spot" and "C Suite" puns, but you can't win them all.

Continuing the renaming frenzy, Google also announced that it will use the generic label "Google Cloud" for a somewhat longer laundry list of products:

  • All of G-Suite
  • Everything within Google Cloud Platform, Google's enterprise cloud system
  • Any Android phone, Android tablet or Chromebook
  • Google's various machine learning tools and APIs

Really, it would have been simpler to say "everything Google builds except Google Search".

Does this matter? Quite possibly not. In my experience, most people who aren't IT pros have only the vaguest idea of what anything being "in the cloud" actually means, and I'm not sure this will make much difference. I imagine we'll still talk about Android phones (and Pixel phones), not Google Cloud phones.

While branding matters, having a useful product matters more. I'll take a useful enhancement like natural language search in Drive over the ability to say "I work in the Google Cloud" any day.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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