Google Workspace now available to everyone

by Joseph K. Clark

Google has announced that Google Workspace is now accessible to anyone with a Google account. Google Workspace is a collection of Google’s apps, such as Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and more — available through a single integrated experience. It was first announced last October, and since then, the company has released several innovations for businesses, nonprofits, and classrooms. 

Users can use Google Workspace to create a secure collaboration space to share ideas and keep track of information. It provides suggestions for recommended files and people to communicate with. Users need to turn on Google Chat tThey can then use Rooms in Google Chat to connect, create, and collaborate. Users need to turn on Google Chat to access these integrated, collaborative experiences.

Google plans on evolving Rooms over the coming months into Spaces. It will introduce a new user interface, in-line topic threading, presence indicators, custom statuses, expressive reactions, and a collapsible view. The company also announced Google Workspace Individual, designed for small business owners. It provides superior capabilities such as intelligent booking services, professional video meetings, personalized email marketing, and more. Google Workspace Individual will soon be available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and Japan. 

Google Workspace

“Every day, the world’s most innovative companies, schools, and nonprofits use Google Workspace to transform how people work and achieve more together. It’s a daily part of how leading healthcare providers revolutionize patient care, schools turn remote learning into an immersive, personalized experience, and aerospace companies rethink flight. Now, with Google Workspace for everyone, you can easily organize your junior sports league, take that fundraiser to the next level, or even turn your hobby into a business. Whatever it is, Google Workspace helps people (teams, families, friends, volunteers, neighbors…) connect, create, and collaborate,” Kelly Walther, vice president of marketing for Google Workspace, and Aparna Pappu, vice president of engineering at Google Workspace, wrote in a post.

In addition, Google announced new security and privacy features protecting Workspace. It has launched Google Workspace Client-side encryption, which gives customers direct control over their encryption keys and identity service. According to Google, client-side encryption benefits organizations storing sensitive data, such as intellectual property, healthcare records, or financial data. 

There are also new trust rules for Drive, which gives customers more control over how files can be shared within and outside their organization. They will set specific rules for organizational units and groups, which allows for a more granular approach than applying blanket policies to all users. 

New Drive labels will allow users to classify their files to ensure they’re handled correctly. Drive labels also integrate with Google Workspace’s data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities. Files can also be classified automatically based on DLP rules defined by the administrator. 

In addition, the company is introducing new phishing and malware protection. When abusive content is found, the file will be flagged and only visible to admins and the file’s owner, preventing sharing and reducing the number of users exposed to the abusive content. 

“These Google Workspace innovations further our longstanding mission to protect and secure anywhere, anytime collaboration. They help our customers realize the full potential of a trusted, cloud-native platform built for the evolving hybrid work environment. Client-side encryption is a significant development for Google Workspace. When combined with our other encryption capabilities, it provides our customers—even in the most heavily regulated industries—with additional controls, safeguards, and peace of mind,” Karthik Lakshminarayanan and Erika Trautman, directors of product management of Google Workspace, wrote in a post.

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