Microsoft has announced a ‘new’ tier to their Microsoft 365 family, the Microsoft 365 Basic. We’re using ‘new’ a little lightly here, as it’s actually just a rebrand of their current OneDrive Standalone 100GB plan for RM9/month or RM90/year but with a couple of extra security features. And yet, despite being called Microsoft 365 Basic, it won’t actually include their Office suite of apps, something that most people arguably subscribe to the regular Microsoft 365 for in the first place.
Instead, with Microsoft 365 Basic, you’re getting 100GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage, and you can choose to protect three of your files in it under Microsoft’s Personal Vault, an additional security layer that requires identify verification to access. You also get multipage scanning meaning that you can use your phone to scan and save multiple pages of printed documents such as receipts and business cards into your OneDrive account.
Oh, and you also get to use their Outlook email service without ads, on top of access to Microsoft technical support for help with Microsoft 365 products and Windows 11 as and when you need it. Microsoft adds that they plan to make Microsoft 365 Basic more appealing to users down the line too by introducing advanced security features such as ransomware recovery and password-protected link sharing in to subscribers later this year. Microsoft 365 Basic will become available worldwide from 30 January onwards, and current OneDrive 100GB subscribers will automatically transition over to Microsoft 365 Basic subscriptions too.
The biggest drawback though is of course that lack of Office apps, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Microsoft does address this though by saying that you can use their free web and mobile version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint instead with your Microsoft account on top of the cloud storage benefits of Microsoft 365 Basic. Of course, that also does mean that if you have a Microsoft account, you can just grab the basic 5GB of OneDrive storage and still use their free web tools.
In fact, it’s not too dissimilar to how Apple has a free iCloud tier with 5GB of storage and then a slightly upgraded iCloud+ tier for RM3.90/month with 50GB of cloud storage, while also having a more premium Apple One plan for RM29.90/month that includes cloud storage, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and Apple TV+. Then there’s also Google and their Google One subscription plan, with Google One Basic priced at RM8.49/month for 100GB of Google Drive storage—cheaper than Microsoft 365 Basic too.
If you do need to use the fully native versions of Microsoft’s Office apps though, you can still get Microsoft 365 Personal instead, which also bumps up your cloud storage to 1TB, unlimited Personal Vault use, offline access and more. Furthermore, it’s perhaps worth mentioning that Microsoft had just only recently lowered their Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family subscription fees a couple of months ago; they’re now only RM22 and RM29 per month, or RM219 and RM289 per year, down from RM27 and RM36 a month or RM269 and RM359 per year.