Google Apps has officially eliminated the free version of Google Apps for business. The company warned that this was coming for quite some time. The good news is that we can still utilize GAFE (Google Apps For Education) at no cost.
This shouldn't be surprising considering Google's business modle. They want people to look at the adds that accompany online searches. If thousands of school children are growing up with the Google environment, the company will essentially grow a whole new generation of loyal customers. Don't misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with a company making a profit while providing great educational tools. In fact, that is the only way great tools are ever going to be brought to students. After all, without financial support of some kind, how many of us would actually go into teaching?