In a world where subscriptions are either getting more expensive, or higher-end features are becoming the reserve of pricier tiers, Microsoft 365 has announced plans to offer its software customers more, free of charge.
Above the 5GB free plan sits what the company currently refers to as ‘OneDrive Standalone 100GB’. It costs £1.99/$1.99 per month, and comes with little more than a moderate pot of cloud-based storage and online access to the Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) apps.
The plan is set to be activated and rebranded to Microsoft 365 Basic on January 30 2023, though the company has announced more features coming later this year in an effort to attract more customers away from its free plan.
Microsoft 365 Basic
This will include new advanced security features like ransomware recovery and password protection for shared links.
In addition to this, the company will add an ad-free and secure email with Outlook, and access to support experts that’s currently only the reserve of Microsoft’s more expensive plans.
The price will remain unchanged, which, as Microsoft corporate VP, Liat Ben-Zur explains in a blog post (opens in new tab) has remained a company priority throughout the years.
While some features have been tweaked, the Personal and Family plans’ pricing have remained unchanged since Microsoft started offering consumer-fronting Office subscriptions a decade ago. However, speaking to The Verge (opens in new tab), Gareth Oystryk, director of product marketing for Microsoft 365, explained that a price change mustn’t be ruled out for the future.
All account types will also get a simplified storage breakdown starting from February, showing a user’s allocation to different services like OneDrive and Outlook.
Finally, in a bid to tie up a process that it started last year, the Office app for Microsoft as well as iOS and Android will become the Microsoft 365 app this month.