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Microsoft 365 Basic vs Microsoft 365 Personal: Which is better?

Microsoft has introduced another tier to its expansive Microsoft 365 plans, Microsoft 365 Basic. This plan is designed to be used by one person and will be the cheapest plan available from the company, excluding the free option.

Microsoft 365 Basic will be available on 30th January 2023, with any existing OneDrive 100GB members being automatically transitioned over to the new plan once it goes live.

But with the release of a brand new subscription tier, how does it compare to one of the other popular single-person tier options, Microsoft 365 Personal? We’re going to be breaking down the key differences between these two plans so you can decide which is better suited to your needs. Read on to find out more.

The Basic plan is a lot cheaper

The latest tier from Microsoft is the cheapest plan available, coming in at just $1.99 a month, or $19.99 a year. As we’ve already mentioned, anyone who is currently a member of the OneDrive 100GB plan will be automatically shifted over to this new plan on 30th January, so you won’t need to worry about signing up for a second time.

Microsoft 365 Personal is a little more expensive, with a price of £5.99/$6.99/€7.00 a month, or £59.99/$69.99/€69.99 a year. The higher price of this plan is reflected in all its included features – which we will touch on in the next few sections – but it does make it less accessible than the Microsoft 365 Basic plan.

Microsoft 365 American pricing and plans
Image Credit (Microsoft)

More storage with Microsoft 365 Personal

As the name suggests, Microsoft 365 Personal is developed for one person to use and comes with 1TB of cloud storage. 1TB of storage should be more than enough for most people who are not engaging in intensive and heavy workloads, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to save media files or a couple of movies.

Microsoft 365 Basic will come with 100GB of cloud storage and it does not look like this will be upgradable in any capacity.

If you know that you need a high amount of storage for TV content or work files, Microsoft 365 Personal is likely the best way to go, as you may find that you run out of 100GB pretty quickly if used often.

No access to desktop versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps with the Basic plan

Those who choose to join the Microsoft 365 Personal plan will have access to desktop versions of apps like Word, Excel and Powerpoint, among many others. Members will have access to offline mode as well as premium features, such as smart assistance to get advanced writing, speaking and design suggestions.

Meanwhile, the Microsoft 365 Basic plan does not come with access to the desktop versions of these apps, however, users will be able to access them through the web or mobile variations. Both the web and mobile options are not as powerful as the desktop variation since they lack some of the more premium features.

For example, the web and mobile platforms do not have alignments guides, there are no advanced proofing tools and users cannot create citations or a bibliography. This may make Microsoft 365 Personal the more alluring option for students or workers who regularly need to create long and cited documents. 

Microsoft 365 Excel
Image Credit (Microsoft)

Microsoft 365 Personal works with more devices

Despite the fact that both of these plans have been developed to be used by just one person, Microsoft 365 Personal is the more accessible option overall. Personal members can use up to five devices simultaneously, meaning that you can switch between a laptop, mobile phone, PC and tablet with ease.

As far as we know, the Microsoft 365 Basic plan can be used on just one device at once, making it a little less seamless than the alternative option. The Basic plan should be compatible with the same devices as the Personal plan, which includes Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad as well as Android phones and tablets.

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