The History of Google’s G Suite – From The Early Days To Now

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Google has come a long way since its early days as a simple search engine. Founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were looking for a way to organize the world’s information, the name “Google '' is a play on the mathematical term “googol,” which is the number 1, followed by 100 zeros (10100).

Google has quickly become synonymous with information, and their G Suite applications take this a step further. We are now able to use Google to track and store our own personal information, write articles, and send emails, not to mention create spreadsheets, budgets, and schedule meetings using their calendar features. 

What is G Suite? 

Before we dive into the history, it is helpful to know exactly what G Suite is. G Suite is an online set of cloud-based computing, productivity, collaboration, software, and products. All of these are available through Google cloud, and accessible on almost any device. There are three distinct features of G Suite: communication, collaboration, and productivity. Hangouts, Gmail, and Currents make up the communication portion. Drive is used for storage, which encompasses all of these features. Collaboration and productivity are met by Docs, Sheets, Sites, Keep, Forms, and Slides. There are also Admin panels and Vault, which are used for managing users and services, depending on the plan. There are many different options that are free for users, but there are also paid versions that allow you to add custom email addresses at a domain, options for unlimited cloud storage, and much more. These applications also function using Cloud computing, which is helpful for users who want management and storage options. You also can use G Suite in connection with your personal domain


G Suite was first launched in August of 2006, and it was originally known as “Google Apps for your Domain.”  It included Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Page creator, and of course, Gmail. Additionally, users were able to use their own domains with Gmail, starting in 2006. This  screenshot, from the internet archives, shows what the beta Gmail interface looked like on September 19, 2006 about a month after its release. 

After Google Apps for your domain was introduced, Google Apps for Education was rolled out. It allowed for users to integrate their existing mail and user account directories with the google apps. 

The first paid edition of Google Apps was released in February 2007, and was called “Google Apps Premier Edition.” This included integration of tools that were originally introduced with  Google Apps for Education, such as Google Docs. This led to Google Apps for your Domain being renamed to “Google Apps Standard Edition.” The free editions and paid editions were initially referred to collectively as “Google Apps Standard Edition,” but later they diverged into Google Apps for business, which distinguished them from Google Apps for Education, and Google Apps for Government, which was introduced in 2010. Google Apps for Government introduced a new period in Cloud computing software, as it was the first suite of cloud applications to receive a Federal Information Security Management Act certification and accreditation. This also meant that G Suite had secure enough software to meet the public sector’s unique security and policy needs. By January 2016, the entire G-Suite organization was accredited via FedRAMP, which increased security measures for all users

Google launched Google Drive in 2012, which gave users a platform for storing and sharing files. This is the actual webpage from May 25, 2012, which shows that only 5GB of storage was available to each user, but eventually businesses were able to purchase more as needed.

Originally, In May 2013, standard storage increased to 10GB for free accounts, and 30GB for paid accounts. Google continued to improve their G Suite software, and added features such as machine intelligence. They also added the ability to automatically translate words in a photo, the ability to search for objects, places, and people in photos, recommend documents to work on in Docs, and recommend schedules based on your history and activity in Calendar. Google officially rebranded Google Apps as G Suite in September 2016.

 This changed the purpose of the organization. They no longer were a disconnected group of Apps, but a cohesive Suite of products, that could be seamlessly integrated for business and personal use. Google Apps for Work was renamed G Suite Basic, and Google Apps Unlimited became G Suite Business. There was also a new top-tier option introduced, called G Suite Enterprise. This package offered high-end data confidentiality, data archiving, integrity, log analysis, and mobile device management options. After this, Google then introduced Team Drive, which was a feature in the Business, Enterprise, and Education editions of G Suite. With this option, users can set up a Drive owned by a team, which centralizes storage and sharing for businesses. 

Google Suites has a history of partnering with other applications to improve user experience, starting in 2009, when they introduced Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook. This plugin allowed users to synchronize email, calendar, and contacts between Microsoft outlook and Google Apps. Additionally, when Google opened the Google Apps Marketplace, an online store for third party business applications, they partnered with Vendors such as Intuit, Appirio, and Atlassian. 

In connection with G Suite, Google also launched technology designed to be used with their apps. The first chromebook was introduced in 2011. Chromebooks are powered by a system called ChromeOS, which is designed to be connected to Google chrome, and integrate with Google apps. Google also launched the Jamboard in 2016, which is a digital whiteboard that connects to the cloud. 

Google has a long-standing mission of providing user-friendly apps and a variety of options that suit the needs of each user. We can see from the history of G Suite that easy connection has been the central focus of Google apps. The development of G Suite has come a long way, and now there is an innovative line of products for your business to use to connect with each other and clients, produce sites and products, and store data. 

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