Migrating from free G-Suite to Microsoft 365 – Why is it so difficult?


If I’m going to pay someone for my custom emails, it sure isn’t going to be google.

Unfortunately, Microsoft 365 Family, which I have, will only allow 1 custom domain (maybe per person?) but only if you use GoDaddy. Maybe M365 Business Basic allows more than 1 domain and non-GoDaddy registrars? But what counts as a “user”? Can I even convert the family plan to a business plan?

I would ask Microsoft, but all of their support options punt me to the “help” page, which is spectacularly unhelpful.

At this point I’m more inclined to use MailRoute and the Hover email offering. I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any.

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Migrating from free G-Suite to Microsoft 365 – Why is it so difficult?”

  1. dougkinzinger

    BitTitan MigrationWiz. I'm a 365 admin by trade and have done a few Google-to-365 migrations for SMBs. It's decently priced and works well.

  2. dougkinzinger

    And no, you cannot convert a family plan to a business, though both are great for the right needs / use cases.

  3. VMax

    365 Business plans allow many domains. I assume there's a limit somewhere, but I've never run into it. Any registrar will work, but you may have to manage your own DNS or be happy (and able) to use Microsoft's DNS servers. GoDaddy has integration that allows the changes to be made automatically.

    As already mentioned, you can't convert from a Family to Business Basic plan, but you presumably wouldn't want to anyway - the Family plan includes Office desktop app licenses, Business Basic doesn't provide desktop apps, so you'd need both. Alternatively you could drop the Family plan and use Business Standard, which does include desktop app licenses, but is substantially more expensive. For bare email-only service you could also look at Exchange Online P1 which is somewhat cheaper than Business Basic.

    The easiest way to think of a user is as a real person, logging in using a password or other auth method. If you need additional mailboxes, e.g. "[email protected]" for a group of people, you can do that without additional licenses using either a distribution group (accept email, forward out multiple copies to individual members) or a shared mailbox accessible using your (and others with proper permissions) primary login credential. Shared mailboxes and distribution groups needn't have a license, nor do they have a usable standalone login credential.

  4. waethorn

    Exchange Online (the business email service that's included in Microsoft 365 Business plans, and also separately), supports multiple domains. The spam filter setup stuff is extremely hard to find now though, and they don't provide guidance at account setup to indicate that it ABSOLUTELY needs to be done, lest the emails you send float off into the void. You need to have DKIM, DMARC, and SPF set up, and the process is completely manual now. It used to be automatically handled by Microsoft and they would give you the information in the Domains section of the Admin Panel for M365. Not anymore. Now it's all just in their separate help & documentation site. And their DKIM setup doesn't work most of the time. I set up 5 new client subscriptions in the last 4 weeks and selector2 for DKIM doesn't get generated on their server when you configure it, so you have to rotate the keys at least once for it to be generated. Microsoft tech support took almost 2 weeks to even recognize that it was a problem, and they still haven't got it fixed. If another client of mine wants email set up, I'd have to recommend an alternative. I've been looking at OnlyOffice lately and like what I see there, plus there's a whole bunch of server platform integration options for self-hosting - community-supported versions are free and open-source.

    If you only have one domain and want a simple setup, stick to the consumer plans. Apple iCloud+ also offers a simplified setup with clear instructions too.

  5. Dan

    Apple iCloud plus is super simple to setup with a custom domain and is included in the lowest tier iCloud plan. The hide my email function is awesome for setting up new registrations on sites without giving them you personal email address.

  6. curtisspendlove

    Just another option if you don’t need Office specific features is FastMail. Been using them for years. And they are pretty awesome.

    No office licenses though. They do have a decent calendaring system.

    It’s at least equivalent to the Google Suite. It’s not quite up to par if you want the Office stuff.

Leave a Reply