Microsoft is about to make Office 365 even better for small and medium sized businesses

Microsoft's Office productivity suite is widely known as the best in the business. Everyone from fortune 500 companies to consumers around the world use the productivity software to write emails and model financial data. To help smaller and medium sized businesses get up and running with the service, Microsoft has taken feedback it has received and adjusted its plans accordingly to better serve these users.

The new plans start at $5 and go up from there to remain competitive in the market and keep downward pressure on Google and its suite of productivity applications. The new plans will be offered from October 1, 2014 and onwards and will work for companies who have 1-250 employees.

If you are currently subscribed to an Office 365 plan you will eventually have to move to one of the new plans by October 1, 2015. But, if the new plans suite your needs better than your current package, you will have the ability to move to the new plans ahead of the expiration date of your current subscription. More details can be found at the source link below.

Microsoft will be offering up more details about these new plans and Office 365 at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington D.C., July 14-17. Neowin will be at WPC this year too, so if you are attending the conference make sure to let us know!

Source: Microsoft

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Buying a single license and using it for next 3-4 years still turns out to be far cheaper than subscription model for those like us who are not ready to store their data on cloud.

Drop business essentials and reduce Business price from $8.25 to $5 and then we can think.

Feels like this is designed to extract more money under the guise of "offer".

Business Essentials and Business are entirely different options aimed at different people. One has services, one doesn't; one has software, one doesn't.

I use Essentials personally, because I get a hosted Exchange inbox to manage my emails across all of my devices, and that I can use with all of my Office 2013 installs on my Windows tablets, laptops and desktop. Dropping it would be silly.

Moving to Office 365 has been great for our company. That said, OneDrive for business has been extremely disappointing. Stupidly slow sync speeds, literally 1/20th of what Dropbox can do.

I agree, although I find the consumer version of OneDrive to be much better than Dropbox. I know it's a different backend, running on SharePoint, but something as simple as looking at your quota is oddly buried and hard for regular users to find.

Just to add ... why on Earth can you not login to Windows 8 with Office 365 credentials and deeper integration as well ... real bizarre oversight.

The middle tier, by which I'm assuming you mean by price rather than location in the chart (thus 'Business' at $8.25), is the equivalent of the newly-introduced 'Office 365 Personal' and newly-renamed 'Office 365 Home' (which are also mainly software orientated).

For once, Microsoft's naming is starting to make some sort of sense! Personal/Home/Business depending on who you are and software you want.

Business Essentials for the services but not software, and Business Premium if you want both.

Audien said,

For on prem customers.

Yep... on-premises customers who want to use O365 as a means of more easily licensing the traditional Office suite products and get updates easily, but do not want to utilize cloud services yet look to be a good fit for the $8.25 plan.