Microsoft’s three new Office 365 SMB plans now open for business

Back in July last year, Microsoft introduced three new Office 365 plans for small/mid-size business, offering them a variety of features to deploy within the organization (via ZDNet). The three new plans, namely Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium are now available for businesses. Microsoft delayed promoting the new offerings to businesses, first to an October deadline, which they then moved back to December 1st. The delay was to “enable users to be able to move to Office 2016 ‘more seamlessly'”.

The most basic plan is the “Essentials” which starts at $5 a month or $60 a year and offer users with a lot of features including email, calendar and contacts with 50GB storage limit per user, instant messaging and video conferencing, 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage and sharing, Yammer social networking for employees and Office Online apps. It doesn’t include Office apps for PCs or Mac, but users can use Online office apps to get the things done.

Office 365 Business costs $8.25 a month or $99 a year. It doesn’t include Email Exchange, Lync or SharePoint, but users can downloadable Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher) for up to 5PCs or Macs as well as 1TB of cloud storage space. Users can also install the Office apps on their tablets or phones to get their work done.

Office 365 for Business includes all sorts of features, including a full set of downloadable Office applications, Email Exchange with storage of up to 50GB per user, Lync for HD video conferencing, 1TB of cloud storage space per user, office apps on tablets and phones, and Yammer enterprise social network. The Premium plan offer users with most of the features they need to get their activities done within the organization, but it costs higher than the basic plans — it costs $12.5 a month or $150 a year. This isn’t too costly for an SMB if they want to get access to Office 365 services and get their things done.

If you’re unsure on which plan is best for you, you can check out the comparison on Microsoft Office 365 website to help you make up your mind.

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Do you use Microsoft Office 365 for your business activities?