In October, Microsoft plans to launch a new portfolio of Office 365 products for small to midsize businesses. It will be comprised of three updated products, including:
- Office 365 Business
- Office 365 Business Essentials
- Office 365 Business Premium
All of Microsoft’s current Office 365 products will eventually be phased out in favor of the new offerings for SMBs, but Enterprise plans will remain as is. Current SMB customers won’t be forced to change immediately—they can select a plan after its launch or upgrade when it’s time for renewal. In a blog post, Microsoft offered the following advice:
“Most customers will have the ability to opt-in and move to the new plans after they launch. However, we recommend that most customers should simply continue using their current plans as they do today and move to the similar new plan at their first renewal after October 1, 2015. With the matching updates for our existing plans, only a small number of customers with very specific needs would realize value from moving plans before October 1, 2015.”
The Office 365 Business plan includes all Office applications and a terabyte of OneDrive business cloud storage. Office 365 Business Essentials will include several core business services via the cloud, including email, Office Online, IM and videoconferencing along with file sharing and cloud storage. Office 365 Business Premium will offer a combination of both the Business and Business Essentials plans.
The Office 365 Business product will cost around $8.25 per month per user. The Business Essentials plan will cost around $5 per user per month, and Business Premium customers will be charged around $12.50 per user.
Further details about the new Office 365 platform will be provided at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, held in Washington, D.C. next week.