Google has announced that it will limit new business users of its Apps service to 10 free accounts before they have to upgrade to the paid version of the service.
The company said in a blog post today that new business customer sign-ups would have to pay if they wanted to support more than 10 users.
The free user limit on the standard edition had previously been 50 users, itself a revised-down figure on the 100 free users supported before 2009.
Today's change did not affect existing business customers, nor schools and not-for-profit organisations that signed up from today.
"Only new customers will be impacted; existing Google Apps customers can expand beyond 10 users (up to a maximum of 50) at no additional charge, and we'll continue to offer Google Apps for free to groups with 10 users or fewer," according to the company's blog.
Google also revealed a new no-contract billing option of $5 per user per month – meaning business users no longer had to commit to a year-long contract for the service.