Come October, Microsoft is changing the inclusions and pricing on its Office 365 subscription plans for small businesses. Here's what you need to know.
Currently, Microsoft offers three small business versions of Office 365: Small Business (for up to 25 users, and not actually including the core desktop applications), Small Business Premium (also for up to 25 users, and including Office desktop apps) and Midsize Business (for up to 300 users).
From 1 October, Microsoft will replace these with three roughly equivalent new plans: Business Essentials, Business and Business Premium. The features of each are outlined in the chart below (note the prices are in US dollars -- Australians will undoubtedly pay a little more, just as they do now):
From that date, customers on the existing plan will also see changes: the cap on user numbers will be raised to 300 across all plans, and the pricing for Midsize Business will be reduced.
Customers who are already signed up to one of the old plans can stick with that option for 12 months, which effectively means that they'll have to switch by October 2015. New customers will only be able to buy the revamped plans from 1 October.
In Australia, Office 365 plans for business are sold in a partnership with Telstra. We'll update this post when we know details of local pricing and rollout arrangements.
Evolving Office 365 plans for small and midsized businesses [Office Blogs]