Office 365 For Business Is Here. Good Luck Figuring Out What It’ll Cost You

Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based office suite, is moving the turf war against Google Docs to the business world with today’s announcement of business-ready subscriptions. But you’ll need a spreadsheet to figure out which of six different options you’ll need – not to mention what it’ll cost.

It’s easier to first explain what the different subscription options have in common. All but two – Office 365 Small Business and Enterprise E1 – include desktop versions of Access, Excel, InfoPath, Lync, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, SkyDrivePro and Word. Similarly, each user has the capability to use the service on a total of five PCs or Macs, except for – again – Office 365 Small Business and Enterprise E1.

The differentiator, it seems, lies in the number of users you’d like to authorize. According to Microsoft’s pricing page, here are the maximum number of users you can sign up for various Office 365 for Business options:

  • Office 365 Small Business and Small Business Premium: 25 users
  • Office 365 MidSize Business: 300 users
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1 and E3: Unlimited users
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The Small Business option offers no desktop applications to install and no mobile app options. Nor does the Enterprise E1 option, though it serves an unlimited number of users, while the Small Business plan is limited to just 25.

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