Microsoft will introduce a new lower tier of Microsoft 365, a family of cloud services, collaboration and productivity software, starting January 30th. The plan is called Microsoft 365 Basic and costs $1.99/month or $19.99/year. It will initially include 100 GB of storage, Outlook email, and access to support professionals for help with Microsoft 365 and Windows 11.
Existing OneDrive 100GB subscribers will also move to Microsoft 365 Basic starting January 30, Microsoft says. And in the coming months, Microsoft 365 Basic plan members will get “enhanced security features” like ransomware recovery and password-protected OneDrive sharing links.
It’s important to note that Microsoft 365 Basic is not a replacement for the free Microsoft 365 tier. It’s not going anywhere, along with the same benefits it offers today, including access to web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, OneDrive , Clipchamp and more, plus 5 GB of cloud storage. Meanwhile, Microsoft 365 Personal will still cost $6.99/month or $69.99/year.
Microsoft 365 plans. Image credits: Microsoft
Microsoft 365 Basic compares favorably in price to competing Google Workspace, whose custom plan starts at $9.99/month for 1TB of storage, professional support, and standard Google productivity software (such as Google Drive, Calendar, Meet, and Gmail) . It’s also cheaper than the Zoho Standard Workplace plan, which costs $3 per user per month billed annually and is limited to 10GB of storage.
To coincide with the introduction of the next level, Microsoft today announced the Microsoft 365 Public App, which replaces the Microsoft Office app with a new design and new features. As featured earlier this year at Microsoft Ignite, now available on the web, Microsoft 365 Apps provides quick access to applications including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as file templates, smart recommendations, a to-do list, and features. synchronization. through different devices.
The Microsoft 365 App will launch on Windows, Android, and iOS later this month, according to Microsoft.
Completing a series of new apps and services, Microsoft 365 users will soon be able to view, manage, and update their cloud storage across all devices with a new “lightweight view,” the company says. Beginning February 1, subscribers can manage and update their cloud files and photo storage from their Microsoft account, Windows settings, or app settings.
Investing in Microsoft 365 makes sense. This is a growing line of income for Microsoft, which has made much of its future in the cloud and, by extension, cloud subscriptions. In its fourth quarter 2022 earnings report, Microsoft reported that Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers grew 15% to 59.7 million, boosting office cloud consumer products and services revenue to $136 million, up 9%. than last year. .
According to my colleague Natasha Lomas, one potential issue could be a legal issue with Microsoft 365 in the European Union, where a recent assessment by a working group of German data protection regulators found that Microsoft has not yet been able to resolve any of the issues. Problems. the compliance issues you raised with him. The task force update may increase pressure on Microsoft 365 customers in Germany and other European Union countries to reconsider their use of Microsoft software and/or look for alternatives with fewer compliance issues.