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Microsoft Announces New Office 365 Plans For SMBs

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Office 365 Business packages start at just $5 a month per user

Microsoft has announced its aim to take some of the stress out of workplace applications with a selection of new Office 365 offerings specifically designed for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).

The computing giant has announced three new packages as it looks to make enterprise-grade tools affordable and easy to set up and manage for businesses with up to 250 employees.

These include Office 365 Business, a basic package which gives users the full suite of Office applications (Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher) but also OneDrive for Business cloud storage, which allow businesses to access, edit and share documents across their Windows PC, Mac, iPad, Windows tablet and smartphone.

The other offerings are Office 365 Business Essentials, which features what Microsoft says are the core cloud services for running a business, including business-class email and calendaring, Office Online, online meetings, IM, video conferencing, cloud storage and file sharing, and Office 365 Business Premium, which offers users a combined package of everything from the other two plans.

office worker_computerSmall (and medium) is beautiful

The basic Office 365 Business package starts at just $8.25 (£7) per user per month, with Essentials costing $5 (£3.10) per user per month and Office 365 Business Premium coming in at $12.50 (£7.80) per user month, with all prices assuming a yearly commitment and a maximum of 300 users.

“We made these changes to the existing Office 365 plans in response to feedback from our customers, and as part of our longstanding commitment to bring the benefits of cloud-based productivity to every SMB,” Thomas Hansen, Microsoft’s vice president of worldwide small and medium business, wrote in a blog post announcing the new packages.

“Small and midsized businesses have to be smart about their technology investments. Cloud services like Office 365 aren’t just affordable, they’re transformational for SMBs. They’re easy to deploy, easy to manage and give SMBs a competitive advantage.”

Microsoft, which originally announced the refresh of its Office 365 offerings earlier this year, claiming the new plans will bring greater choice, value and flexibility, said that its current Office 365 Enterprise plans will remain unchanged.

The company announced last week that it has launched an Online Services Bug Bounty Programme that will pay out cash awards of a minimum of $500 (£300) for flaws in the company’s web applications, beginning with Office 365, as it looks to keep its product offerings performing at the highest level.

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