This little-know Microsoft plan offers individuals and sole proprietors an affordable entry to Microsoft 365 services

Formerly known as the OneDrive 100GB Standalone plan, Microsoft 365 Basic is the software giant’s entry-level consumer-targeted subscription designed for a single user. Microsoft 365 Basic, the new name introduced at January’s end, is priced at just $1.99 per month or $19.99 when paid annually. 

If you previously purchased the OneDrive 100GB Standalone subscription, your account was automatically transitioned to the new plan. You need not take any steps to convert or update Microsoft services, which will not be interrupted. 

Compatible with Macs and Windows PCs as well as Android, iOS and iPadOS devices, many users subscribe to the basic plan for its additional 100GB (versus the free limit of just 5GB) of OneDrive cloud storage, including for files and photos, while others choose the option for its ad-free Outlook email, calendar, tasks and contacts functionality. Subscribers also receive technical support from Microsoft for its 365 services and Windows, a benefit that’s important not to overlook when working independently and without IT staff. 

Perhaps one of Microsoft 365 Basic’s most important features is the fact subscribers receive powerful industry-standard productivity apps, including web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. These apps come in handy whether drafting documents and letters, taking notes, budgeting or preparing slide decks. 

Not to be confused with Microsoft 354 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Basic is easy to confuse with Microsoft 365 Business Basic. With only the single word “business” differentiating the two subscription offerings, the business-specific plan is designed for commercial use and increases file storage capacity by a factor of 10 to 1TB, adds business-grade email services using your organization’s own domain name, includes user management tools and provides productivity-enhancing collaboration and meetings features with the addition of Microsoft Teams. 

Another advantage of the business upgrade is Microsoft SharePoint. While a small firm may not immediately recognize or appreciate SharePoint’s benefits, the platform’s features, employed properly, make a measurable difference in how well a small and growing company’s workflows succeed. 

SharePoint provides immediate file-sharing and collaboration capabilities. The platform simplifies creating internal portals and makes it easy for employees, regardless of their technical knowledge and expertise, to track news, information, forms and updates. The web-based collaboration system, as some describe SharePoint, can prove a game changer in its ability to level the playing field for firms that wish to prove efficient, productive and nimble without having to invest in on-premises equipment, a website designer, supporting networks and maybe a developer. SharePoint, out of the box, also enables organization-wide communication and collaboration regardless of an employee’s location. Combined, SharePoint and Teams provide organizations regardless of industry a powerful one-two punch that removes barriers to entry and assists quickly becoming and remaining competitive. 

Maybe more importantly for many, the business-specific plan is priced affordably at just six-dollars-per-user-per-month when paid annually. The investment is easily justified by the business plan’s security features, alone. 

For example, the upgrade extends the ability to protect numerous files up to the plan’s storage maximum, versus the Microsoft 365 Basic plan’s three-file limit using Personal Vault, the OneDrive feature that protects sensitive information. Neither does the Microsoft 365 Basic plan include Exchange Online Protection, which further secures email and helps reduce email-borne threats. 

The business-specific plan also supports creating shareable password-protected links. Those links permit setting custom permissions for specific files and folders. The feature prevents unintended recipients from accessing such files but permits sharing and collaborating as needed within an organization. 

Have questions?

Even sole proprietorships and startups with a couple users require reliable and robust technology solutions, not to mention qualified technical support. Some of Louisville Geek’s larger clients, like Louisville Geek itself, began as one- and two-person shops. We’ve grown as our clients have. 

Should you have questions, call us at 502-897-7577 or email [email protected]. We’re happy to provide Microsoft 365 administrative assistance and explain the differences between Microsoft’s various service plans, for which Microsoft 365 Basic provides a great entrance.