G Suite hits two billion users as remote working surges

The cloud-based suite of services is "uniquely positioned" to change the way people work, as COVID-19 prompts self-isolation

Google's G Suite service, which includes Gmails, Google Docs, Hangouts and more, surpassed two billion monthly active users at the end of last year, according to its general manager.

Javier Soltero, who is also the vice president of G Suite, made the announcement to Axios on Wednesday.

He declined to give a detailed breakdown of the numbers, according to Axios, so there is little information on what products are used most or how many pay for the service compared with free users.

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G Suite has long been seen as the challenger to Microsoft's Office services, and Soltero knows both extremely well having left the latter for Google last year.

But with many companies around the world either entering a period of remote working or are well into self-isolation, Google's suite of productivity services is already raking in healthy numbers.

"That's a staggering number... These products have incredible reach," he said. "Changing the way people work is something we are uniquely positioned to do."

At the start of the month, Google announced parts of its enterprise service would be free, for a limited time, to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on businesses entering periods of mass remote working. This mainly focused on Hangouts Meet, its video conferencing service.

Likewise, Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial for Teams, according to Business Insider, which was originally just for schools and businesses in China, but has now been expanded globally - this will also come with an update that lifts the restrictions on the number of users per team.

According to Vox, Team's saw a 500% increase for meetings, calls and conference usage in China towards the end of January, with those numbers to be likely mirrored in Europe in the coming weeks and, possibly, months.

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