MICROSOFT HAS ROLLED out its new Office 365 plans for SMBs, first trailed last year, to existing subscribers.
Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium replace the three plans rolled out with the initial launch of the cloud productivity suite. The plans have been available for some time to new users but are only now being touted as alternatives for renewal.
Essentials is the entry level package, which at £3.10 per user includes the cloud suite, 50GB mailbox, 1TB Onedrive, and Skype for Business, but notably doesn't include the Office 2016 desktop suite, which has to be downloaded separately.
Business contains all of the above, access via mobile apps and the Office 2016 downloads, but notably doesn't include email. That's £7 a month. Premium adds the email back, for the price of a Double Decker at £7.80.
All plans have been available to new users for a while, but as existing customers come to the end of their contracts, Microsoft is, for the first time, inviting them to migrate.
There are a few features that disappear in the new plans. Microsoft Access is no longer part of the core offer, and certain Lync Server capabilities are removed as the company moves toward Skype for Business as a universal concept. Smaller plans will also lose remote desktop.
Of course, it would be remiss not to point out that there are a lot of additions in the new plans, most notably the opportunity to combine SMB and Enterprise plans if you need more "oomph". In contrast, Home users are still unable to migrate to SMB and Enterprise offerings, instead having to open a separate account.
Users with keys for old plans can continue to redeem them right through to September 30th next year, so full migration to the new plans won't take place until well into 2017, but the clock has at least started ticking. µ
Larry Ellison pays tribute to an 'irreplaceable friend'
The way we found out may surprise you
Air to the throne
Wonder who will get 999.999.999.999