microsoft 365, microsoft

Microsoft has found a way to add yet another tier to its 365 product family.

As reported by The Verge, the company has unveiled Microsoft 365 Basic, a brand-new tier that is being added to the existing Free, Personal, and Family tiers of the product family. Basic will sit in between the Free and $6.99 per month Personal tiers and come in at $1.99 per month. Users can also choose to purchase it yearly for $19.99.

The new tier will be available on January 30th and include 100 GB of storage, the web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, and OneDrive, an ad-free Outlook web and mobile email and calendar, and access to Microsoft’s technical support team.

Gareth Oystryk, director of product marketing for Microsoft 365, says that the above is only the beginning, promising additional security features later this year.

“Later this year, we’ll have a bunch of stuff with OneDrive advanced security that will be available as well, that includes Personal Vault, password-protected and expiring links, ransomware detection and recovery, and bulk file restore.”

Oystryk said that the new tier was designed with Windows users in mind and that it saw a need for a level of service that fell between the current free and Personal tiers.

“We know many people are using our services today, but some of them run out of storage or want additional benefits that you don’t get with the free Microsoft 365 experience. We also designed this specifically with Windows users in mind.”

The executive also talked about the company’s plan to rename the Microsoft Office app to Microsoft 365 later this month, saying quite definitively that the 365 brand is the direction moving forward.

“Is the Office brand going away entirely? No. We’ve really invested a lot in Microsoft 365 and it’s really become our flagship productivity suite, so Office plays less of a role given that’s where our focus is. You’ll still see Office show up in certain contexts. It’s more of a shift in focus where we’re doubling down on Microsoft 365 as our productivity suite, and we want people, when they think of productivity, to think about Microsoft 365 and not Office.”

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