Microsoft 365 Review & Pricing (Previously “Office 365“)
Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.
Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 — replacing Office 365 — on April 21, 2020.
According to Microsoft, they changed the name to better reflect the range of features and benefits included in the subscription.
In this article, let’s shed some light on Microsoft 365 and how much its subscription plans cost.
Let’s get started!
Table of Content
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365, previously Office 365, is a subscription service that includes the new and updated Office 365 apps with machine learning features, intelligent cloud services, and advanced security.
With Microsoft 365, well-known Office applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote now have online and web versions.
Depending on the plan you’re subscribing to, the access you will have varies.
Since Microsoft 365 is a subscription service, there’s no need to pay for licenses. 😊
Pros and cons of Microsoft 365
One of Microsoft 365’s most appealing benefit is how a lot of its applications don’t require internet access (with the right subscription plan).
As you may know, there are a lot of cloud apps right now that offer similar features as that of Microsoft Office. However, only Microsoft 365 allows you to really work offline and sync whatever it is you’re working on to the cloud once you’re online.
In addition, since Microsoft 365 has added its cloud features, the convenience level shot up. Simply, you can switch between the software applications on any device, anywhere.
Before, collaboration and sharing was a pain. But with the cloud features, team members can now collaborate effortlessly.
On the other hand, Microsoft 365 still has compatibility issues with Mac. One example where you can see this is between Excel for Mac and Excel for Windows.
Another one is the ease of use. Since Microsoft Office apps are more robust than any other Office apps, there’s a slight learning curve especially if you’re keen on learning the advanced features.
There are still a lot of pros and cons when it comes to Microsoft 365. But to summarize…
- Desktop applications (for offline access)
- Collaboration is better
- Robust and advanced Office applications
- Wide range of Office applications
- Software updates
- Compatibility issues with Mac
- Slight learning curve
- Expensive cloud storage
Microsoft 365 features and applications
Microsoft 365 includes a lot of software applications available and services.
But the popular ones include:
- Word – word processing tool
- Excel – spreadsheet applications
- PowerPoint – presentation builder
- Outlook – email client
- OneDrive – file hosting service
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft enhanced their products with artificial intelligence and machine learning.
For example, the expansion to Microsoft Editor will now allow it to look further than just spelling and basic grammar. It could now suggest advanced grammar and style refinements to help users write with more clarity and conciseness.
Or PowerPoint’s Present Coach that will help its user become a better presenter.
According to Microsoft…
“Presenter Coach will listen to your tone of voice and give feedback in real-time to suggest adding some variation where needed. With speech refinement, Presenter Coach will give grammar suggestions including how to better phrase your speech.”
There’s also the new Microsoft Teams which replaces Skype for Business. Teams is something like Skype, Slack, and Outlook merged together.
What’s even more awesome about Teams is that you can pretty much open up most office documents right inside the app itself. You’ll be able to find everything in one place.
Aside from what’s listed above, there are still other apps and services in Microsoft 365 like OneNote, SharePoint, Microsoft Family Safety, and others.
How much does it cost?
Microsoft 365 has many subscription plans which range from as low as $5 to $35 per user per month.
On the “For home” category, there are two plans:
Microsoft 365 Family, as its name suggests, is good for six people and costs $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month.
The Personal plan is for one person only and costs $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month.
Both plans offer the same features and benefits.
The “For business” category has four plans:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Microsoft 365 Apps
The Basic plan only costs $5 per user per month. This is cheap but you should know that this plan doesn’t include desktop applications, only web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are included.
The Standard plan costs $12.50 per user per month which is great for companies that need full remote work and collaboration tools. The difference between this plan and the Basic plan is that Standard includes desktop applications of premium Office apps.
The Business Premium plan costs $20 per user per month which includes everything in the previous plan plus advanced cyberthreat protection and device management.
The Microsoft 365 Apps plan only includes the Office apps across devices and cloud file storage. This costs only $8.25 per user per month.
Aside from the “For business” category, there are also plans made for enterprises.
Microsoft 365 E3 costs $32 per user per month which includes all the office apps as well as compliance tools like legal hold and data loss prevention. Accounts that have five or more users will get unlimited cloud storage.
Microsoft 365 F3 costs $10 per user per month and is almost similar to Business Basic. Here, users will get productivity apps and cloud services.
Microsoft 365 E5 costs $57 per user per month and is the most expensive Microsoft 365 plan. You will get all office apps, productivity apps, advanced security, compliance, voice, and even analytical capability.
Wrapping it up…
As you can see, Microsoft 365 is a complete package suitable for small to medium businesses as well as enterprises.
The “For home” category also offers single users access to Microsoft Office apps in their full glory.
When compared with other solutions out there, Microsoft 365 has the most robust and powerful applications. It’s also perfect for those who would like to work on the cloud as well as offline.
Although Microsoft had troubles before in terms of collaboration, they were able to iron it out with their recent update and services. Now, similar to a “certain” suite, you could even see who’s actively working on your document.
In summary, Microsoft 365 is a great subscription service for those who need office applications. It’s now even better after it rebranded from Office 365 and added more services to its packages.