Office 365 customers appear to be embracing Microsoft’s latest repackaging of its Office products. Unveiled in October, the updated Office 365 plans — designed to gradually replace the company’s existing plans for small and mid-sized businesses — are capturing the attention of Office 365 customers considering their options at renewal time.
These revised offerings, which are intended for organizations with 250 or fewer employees, are available in three versions: Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium. The Office 365 Business Premium plan — the one attracting the most buzz — encompasses all the features of the first two.
For one, users get the latest versions of the core Office suite products with this subscription — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher. These apps can be installed on up to five PCs, Macs, Windows tablets, iPads and most mobile devices. Users also get access to online services like Exchange, SharePoint and Lync (they can connect with other Lync users via instant messaging, and voice and video calls).
The new cloud-installed plans allow users to store, sync and share their files online so that they’re always up to date. And they can edit documents with others in real time.
The Outlook app included in the package offers business-class e-mail that can be accessed from a desktop or a web browser. Users each get a 50 GB mailbox and can send attachments of up to 25 MB.
The included OneDrive for Business provides for 1 TB of storage for each user for virtually-anywhere access to their documents.
The online conferencing function facilitates hosting of video- and audio-equipped online meetings using one-click screen-sharing and HD videoconferencing.
When they switch to this repackaged subscription plan, Office customers get a consistent and familiar experience, whether they’re on PCs and Windows tablets (running Windows 7 or higher), Macs (running MAC OS X 10.6 or higher), iPads (running version 7 or higher) or almost any mobile device.
Microsoft has priced its new plans to be attractive to small and medium-sized enterprises.
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