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Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 Basic, a cheaper subscription option for the wildly popular business software. The subscription extends Microsoft 365’s free option with several features, but offers less functionality than the more expensive Personal and Family subscriptions.

The option is hoped to persuade free users to switch to a paid subscription. Microsoft 365 Basic costs $1.99 (€1.85) per month and includes mobile versions of Microsoft 365 services, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as an ad-free version of Outlook, The Verge reports.

Furthermore, the subscription includes access to OneDrive with a maximum of 100GB storage. Users already paying for 100GB of OneDrive storage will be migrated to Microsoft 365 Basic for free.

Other functionality

In addition, the subscription provides security functionality such as data encryption for Outlook, as well as scans of suspicious links and malware in mail attachments. Subscribers get technical support from Microsoft for Microsoft 365 applications and Windows 11 through telephone or chat.

Advanced security functionality for OneDrive will be added to the subscription in the near future. This includes Personal Vault, password-protected and expired links, ransomware detection and recovery, and bulk file store capabilities.

Less extensive

According to the tech giant, the most significant difference between Microsoft 365 Basic and existing low-cost subscription is that Microsoft 365 Basic only offers mobile versions of productivity apps. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family also offer desktop versions.

In addition, Personal subscriptions include OneDrive storage of up to 1TB, while Family includes 1TB per user for six users. Microsoft 365 Basic is expected to be available by the end of this month. Availability differs by region.

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