Microsoft 365 Basic: here is what we know about the new plan
Microsoft 365 Basic is the latest addition to Microsoft 365 for Home users and families. The plan replaces the OneDrive 100 GB Standalone plan, which Microsoft plans to retire.
When Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365, a subscription-based plan that included additional OneDrive storage, access to Office apps and more, it kept a standalone storage upgrade offer; this was OneDrive Standalone 100 GB, which increased storage of the service by 100 gigabytes, but did not include any of the other benefits of the more expensive plans. The plan was more affordable, as it cost around $2 per month.
Microsoft customers who just needed a bit more space for OneDrive could sign-up to increase storage space from the default 5 gigabytes to 105 gigabytes.
Microsoft 365 Basic
OneDrive Standalone 100 GB is going to be replaced with Microsoft 365 Basic. Existing customers subscribed to the standalone plan are migrated to Microsoft 365 Basic automatically on January 30, 2023. The cost of the plan does not change.
Microsoft notes here that the renamed service includes extra features that were not part of the OneDrive Standalone 100 GB plan.
Besides getting 100 gigabytes of extra storage for OneDrive, Outlook and other Microsoft services -- the storage is shared across services -- subscribers do get the following other benefits:
- An ad-free email experience with Outlook.
- Access to support experts that help with Microsoft 365 and Windows 11 (at an affordable price).
Microsoft 365 Basic will be available on January 30, 2023; this is also the day that OneDrive Standalone 100 GB will no longer be available.
Microsoft customers who have a OneDrive Standalone subscription get additional benefits when they are migrated to the new solution. The same applies to new customers who sign-up for the new Microsoft 365 Basic. While the extra storage space remains the same, they do get an ad-free Outlook experience. While that is only useful to customers who use Outlook for email, it is a nice addition that Microsoft charged for in the past.
The second benefit is access to support experts. Microsoft does not reveal much about it, but it sounds as if this service will cost extra. It is also too early to tell if these experts will provide a better service than Microsoft's experts on the Microsoft Community forums.
Customers should not confuse Microsoft 365 Basic with the existing Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan. These have little in common. Microsoft 365 Business Basic is a full plan that gives access to 1 TB of storage space, business email, customer management tools, call, chat and meeting functionality for up to 300 people.
Microsoft 365 Basic replaces OneDrive Standalone 100 GB for no extra cost and with added benefits. The move will increase the plan's attractiveness for some customers.
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