Google announced Tuesday that it will expand its offer to provide Google Apps for free in an attempt to bait away Microsoft customers.
The offer, which was first extended in October to companies that had between 250 and 3,000 users, has now been extended to businesses with 100 users.
Google has been working hard to win Microsoft customers, as the battle over the workplace productivity market continues.
Under the offer, small businesses can use the Google Apps productivity suite for free until their existing Enterprise Agreement contracts expire. Google has also offered to help pay for migrations to Google Apps, as well as other incentives.
Google is touting improved security as one of its benefits, even offering a limited number of free Security Keys for mid-market customers to help protect them from phishing, account hijacking and other attacks.
"Mid-size companies don’t always have the same resources as larger enterprises, and constraints (like contract lock-in) shouldn’t hinder collaboration or efficiency at work," Google’s blog said, adding that companies with basic EAs and no dependencies have the potential to cut costs by up to 70% by moving to Google Apps for Work.
Google and Microsoft have been battling to attract business customers to their respective cloud-based productivity tools for the last several months. Google’s post said it signed up 200,000 new users since its original free offer in October.
In February, Microsoft said it would extend a service called FastTrack—which was previously only available to larger companies—to small and mid-sized businesses. The service helps businesses migrate to Office 365 and onboard users.
Recent analysis from Gartner found Microsoft is more popular with larger organizations, while Google is more popular with smaller companies. It’s likely Google is trying to further capitalize on that trend with its latest offer. According to Gartner, around 50% of companies with less than $50 million in sales use Google for Work.