More Microsoft Office 365 packages revealed

Last week, Microsoft finished work on the RTM build of Office 2013 and it will be made available to some users, such as TechNet and MSDN subscribers, in mid-November, with general availability planned for the first quarter of 2013. That includes new versions of Microsoft Office 365, the subscription-based version of Office.

Previously, Microsoft announced that there would be Home Premium, Small Business Premium, ProPlus and Enterprise versions of Office 365. Now, reports that Microsoft will actually have two more versions of Office 365 available to buy: Small Business and Midsize Business. Neither one were made available for the recent preview versions.

The article says that the Small Business version will not include support to download Office programs like Word, PowerPoint and more on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. Users who want that particular feature should go to the Small Business Premium version instead. There's no word yet on pricing for the regular Small Business SDK.

The Midsize Business version of Office 365 will include everything from the Small Business Premium SKU, plus access to programs such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online. The subscription fee will be $15 a month, or $180 per user.

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MsftGaurav said,
Stay away from the subscription-based Office. It will cost you more in the long run.

LOL, no, you get lifetime free upgrades

MsftGaurav said,
Stay away from the subscription-based Office. It will cost you more in the long run.

For a small business, an exchange subscription in the cloud is far cheaper than setting up and purchasing a local copy of Exchange (and/or Lync, Sharepoint etc...) in terms of labour and all the licenses. You then need to really work out what the cost of Office through the subscription is (i.e. Office365 with a license minus the price of Office365 that doesn't include a license, and compare that to the perpetual license cost + upgrades every 3 years).

One big benefit of subscription pricing is that it's better in most cases for businesses from an accounting and tax point of view. So even if it costs slightly more in raw $ terms, it could work out better once everything is factored in.

Is that actually supposed to say "...$15 a month, or $180 per year per user..." ? The way it reads now makes the $180 sound like a one-and-done fee for unlimited use.

Microsoft and the Office Team are bringing it hard this time around. These are really attractive subscription packages for small businesses.