Microsoft launches new 365 Basic tier, overhauls its Office app


Microsoft has announced it will be introducing a new, low-cost subscription tier to its Microsoft 365 product bundle.

Called Microsoft 365 Basic, the new tier will be priced at $1.99 per month, or $19.99 per year, and will be globally available on January 30. Initially, users will have access to 100GB of cloud storage, an ad-free Outlook web and mobile experience, with enhanced security features like ransomware recovery and password-protected sharing links in OneDrive being rolled out in the coming months.

Currently, Microsoft offers its customers a OneDrive 100GB Standalone plan. Microsoft 365 Basic has been designed to replace this plan, and all existing standalone subscribers will automatically be upgraded to the new Basic tier for the same $1.99 monthly rate.

However, unlike the $6.99 Personal subscription that Microsoft also offers, the new Basic plan doesn’t include access to the desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps, with subscribers to the Basic tier having to use the web or mobile versions instead.

In addition to announcing the new Basic tier, Microsoft also announced the general availability of the Microsoft 365 app, which replaces the Microsoft Office app. First previewed at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in October 2022, the app, which has a new design, provides quick access to apps including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and offers file templates, smart recommendations, and syncing across different devices.

The Microsoft 365 app will launch on Windows, Android and iOS later this month.

In a blog post announcing the news, Liat Ben- Zur, corporate vice president for modern life, search, and devices, noted that January 29, 2023, represents 10 years of Microsoft 365’s Personal plans.

“The world has changed a lot over the last 10 years, so we continued our own journey of self-improvement by adding new features and benefits to help you keep up with the changing times,” she said.

The news comes in the same week that Microsoft confirmed it will be making its Teams Premium offering generally available from February of this year.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.



This story originally Appeared on ComputerWorld

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