Microsoft will introduce a brand new, lower-cost tier of Microsoft 365, its product household of productiveness software program, collaboration and cloud-based companies, beginning on January 30. Referred to as Microsoft 365 Fundamental and priced at $1.99 monthly or $19.99 per 12 months, the plan will initially embrace 100 GB of storage, Outlook electronic mail and entry to assist consultants for assist with Microsoft 365 and Home windows 11.
Present OneDrive 100 GB subscribers will probably be transitioned to Microsoft 365 Fundamental starting January 30 as nicely, Microsoft says. And within the coming months, Microsoft 365 Fundamental plan members will get “superior security measures” like ransomware restoration and password-protected sharing hyperlinks in OneDrive.
Importantly, Microsoft 365 Fundamental is not changing the free Microsoft 365 tier. That’s right here to remain, together with the identical advantages it presents immediately, together with entry to the web-based variations of Phrase, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, OneDrive, Clipchamp and extra, and 5 GB of cloud storage. Microsoft 365 Private, in the meantime, will stay $6.99 monthly or $69.99 per 12 months.
Microsoft 365 Fundamental compares favorably by way of pricing to rival Google Workspace, whose Particular person plan begins at $9.99 monthly for 1 TB of storage, skilled assist and Google’s customary productiveness software program (e.g. Google Drive, Calendar, Meet and Gmail). It’s additionally cheaper than Zoho’s Normal Office plan, which prices $3 per person monthly billed yearly and tops out at 10 GB of storage.
To coincide with the introduction of the brand new tier, Microsoft immediately introduced the final availability of the Microsoft 365 app, which replaces the Microsoft Workplace app with a brand new design and new options. As previewed earlier this 12 months throughout Microsoft’s Ignite convention, the Microsoft 365 app — now live on the internet — offers fast entry to apps together with Phrase, Excel and PowerPoint along with file templates, “good” suggestions, to-do listing performance and syncing throughout completely different gadgets.
The Microsoft 365 app will launch on Home windows, Android and iOS later this month, Microsoft says.
Rounding out the raft of latest apps and companies, Microsoft 365 customers will quickly be capable to view, handle and improve cloud storage throughout gadgets by way of a brand new “simplified view,” says the corporate. Beginning February 1 from a Microsoft account, Home windows settings or app settings, subscribers can mange and improve their cloud file and picture storage.
The funding in Microsoft 365 is sensible. It’s a rising income merchandise for Microsoft, which has guess a lot of its future on the cloud and, by extension, cloud-driven subscriptions. In its This fall 2022 earnings name, Microsoft reported that Microsoft 365 Shopper subscribers grew 15% to 59.7 million, driving income within the firm’s Workplace Shopper merchandise and cloud companies section to $136 million — a 9% year-over-year improve.
In a possible niggle, authorized hassle could also be brewing over Microsoft 365 within the European Union, my colleague Natasha Lomas reports, the place a latest evaluation by a working group of German knowledge safety regulators discovered that Microsoft nonetheless hasn’t capable of resolve any of the compliance issues they’ve raised with it. The working group’s replace might crank up the strain on Microsoft 365 prospects in Germany and elsewhere within the European Union to reassess utilization of Microsoft’s software program and/or search out much less compliance-challenged alternate options.