Microsoft is adding a new low-end subscription tier to its Microsoft 365 service. This tier is aimed at people who already use OneDrive and want more features for their Outlook inboxes but don’t need Word, Excel, or PowerPoint on a full desktop.
Microsoft 365 Basic, according to The Verge, will cost $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. It includes 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage, removes advertisements from Outlook web and mobile clients, and provides “advanced security” for Outlook users in the form of malware scanning for links and attachments and additional encryption options.
The primary drawback of the Basic plan in comparison to the other Microsoft 365 subscription tiers is that it does not provide access to the full desktop versions of the applications that were previously part of Microsoft Office: PowerPoint, Word, Excel, OneNote, and Outlook. The less feature-rich online versions will still be usable, and anyone with a free Microsoft account can use them.
You will still need to upgrade to Microsoft 365 Personal ($6.99 per month, $69.99 per year) or Microsoft 365 Family ($9.99 per month, $99.99 per year), which both come with additional OneDrive storage and other benefits, in order to obtain those apps.
On January 30, Microsoft 365 Basic will become available. At that time, all subscribers to the current 100GB OneDrive plan, which costs $1.99 per month, will be automatically upgraded to Microsoft 365 Basic.
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