Microsoft is adding a new low-end subscription tier to its Microsoft 365 service designed to cater to existing OneDrive subscribers and people who want more features for their Outlook inboxes but don’t need the full desktop versions of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
The Verge reports that Microsoft 365 Basic will cost $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year, and it includes 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage, removes ads from the Outlook web and mobile clients, and offers “advanced security” for Outlook users in the form of malware-scanning for links and attachments and additional encryption options.
The main shortcoming of the Basic plan relative to the other Microsoft 365 subscription tiers is that you won’t get access to the full desktop versions of the apps formerly known as Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. You’ll still be able to use the more feature-limited online versions, but those are also available to anyone with a free Microsoft account. To get those apps, you’ll still need to upgrade to the Microsoft 365 Personal ($6.99 a month, $69.99 a year) or Microsoft 365 Family ($9.99 a month, $99.99 a year) tiers, each of which also comes with additional OneDrive storage and other perks.
Microsoft 365 Basic will launch on January 30. Any subscribers to the existing $1.99-per-month 100GB OneDrive tier will automatically be upgraded to Microsoft 365 Basic at that time.