Google says the new standard version of the service (Google Earth 5.0) will fill the needs of most current Plus users. And the standard version remains free.


As the official Google letter to Plus users explains:

Our Google Earth Plus customers told us GPS tracking is one of the main reasons they choose Google Earth Plus. Now, since you can use this feature for free in Google Earth 5.0, there’s little separation between Plus and the free product. In order to simplify the decision of which version of Google Earth best meets our customers’ needs, we decided it no longer made sense to continue Google Earth Plus.

Google Plus users have three choices: Switch the the standard version now; Stay with Plus until they upgrade or their current subscriptions run out; or upgrade to Google Earth Pro.

Plus users can try Pro for two months for free and then, if they choose to upgrade, they can take advantage of a limited-time discount on the Pro subscription exclusively for migrating Plus users.

For a full rundown on the new features in Google Earth 5.0, visit the Official Google Earth blog.

2 Responses to Google Earth discontinues Plus service

  1. Alan Ong
    Feb 09, 2009

    Unlike your other customers, I don’t have a need for the GPS tracking feature that triggered the change in Google Earth options.

    I have a small business providing real estate development consultancy services. I have used Google Earth Pro for two years in my business and it has been a valuable resource for me to create exhibits for my reports. The reason I upgraded from the free Google Earth and subscribed to Plus was to enable me to print aerial images of my projects at a high enough resolution for my presentations and exhibits.

    With the announced change of Google Earth options, will I have to upgrade to the full Pro version to retain this capability, or will the free version now enable me to print in high resolution? If I must upgrade to Pro for this feature, ‘m afraid I’m afraid the $400 annual cost of Pro is a bit steep for my small business.

  2. Evolving Squid
    Feb 09, 2009

    I just got my official notification of this today, and I can’t say I’m thrilled. I liked the higher-res stuff as well, but not so much that I’m willing to pay $400 per year. I didn’t really *need* Plus, but I was willing to pay the $20. Now they get $0. Weird business model.

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