Microsoft Revamps Office 365 Plans for SMBs

Attention, small and medium-size businesses (SMBs). Microsoft has created three new Office 365 plans just for you. The plans, expected to be launched October 1, are targeted at companies of up to 250 employees. The three are Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials, and Office 365 Business Premium, and the applications are available on any device, including PC, Mac, iPad, Windows tablet or smartphone.

Office 365 Business provides the full suite of Office productivity applications -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher and Outlook -- plus a terabyte of cloud storage. Office 365 Business Essentials offers core cloud business services, including business class e-mail, calendaring, Office Online, online meetings, IM, video conferencing, cloud storage and file sharing.

Plan Pricing

The Office 365 Business Premium version has everything that's included in the Office 365 Business and the Office 365 Essentials plans. Over time, the tech giant said, these three new plans will replace the existing plans for SMBs, which include Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business.

Pricing for the Office 365 Business Plan is $8.25/per user/per month, and a terabyte of storage is included.

Office 365 Business Premium is priced at $12.50/user/month, and it includes the services that were available through the current Midsize Business service, such as OneDrive for Business, e-mail, online meetings, sites for team collaboration and internal portals, and Yammer private social networking.

Office 365 Business Essentials is $5/user/month, the same price as Small Business, but with additional services like Yammer and support for Active Directory. Users can move their companies to different plans whenever they choose, or they can add other solutions, including Project, Visio, or Dynamics CRM Online.

Yammer, Google

The company also said that, starting with the October launch, Small Business and Small Business Premium customers will have their seat caps raised from 25 to 300, while Midsize Business customers,...

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