Microsoft reveals new range of Office 365 plans for SMEs

Microsoft has revealed three new Office 365 schemes for SMEs that will include new features, lower prices and increased plan flexibility.

The firm hopes to simplify the offering for SME users and the new plans are aimed at companies consisting of up to 250 employees.

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Office 365 Business ($8.25 (£4.83) per month), Business Essentials ($5 (£2.93) per month) and Business Premium ($12.50 (£7.32) per month) will be available from 1 October 2015, and will replace the Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business plans that are currently on offer.

Office 365 Business gives users full Office applications and 1TB of cloud storage, Business Essentials offers "core cloud services" such as email and video conferencing plus the cloud-based office apps, whilst Business Premium offers a combination of the two.

Existing users will also see their seat limit increase from 25 to 300 users.

Kirk Gregersen, general manager for Microsoft's Office Marketing Group, said, "This new line-up will replace our current plans for small and midsized businesses over time."

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He added that the new plans reflected feedback from SMEs "about how they want to get started and grow with Office 365."

More details will follow at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference this week.