Office 365 offers hosted email and productivity and collaboration applications for companies, government agencies and schools. It comes in a variety of editions, all on a per-user, per-month subscription basis. In most editions, it includes hosted versions of Exchange, Office, SharePoint and Lync.
In a , Microsoft said it is lowering the prices because the cost of running Office 365 has dropped since its launch.
"As we rapidly add customers, the cost to run Office 365 becomes more efficient. This is the beauty of the cloud where we can deliver economies of scale through our worldwide data centers and economies of skill with our engineers, administrators, and support teams operating the service," wrote Microsoft official Kirk Koenigsbauer.
Prices for the four plans for midsize businesses and enterprises, labeled E1, E2, E3 and E4, dropped, in that order, from US$10 to $8; from $16 to $14; from $24 to $20; and from $27 to $22.
Office 365 also comes in a plan for small businesses, called P1, which has a 50-user limit, and in an email-only option with just Exchange Online, as well as in other alternatives. The price for the P1 plan remains the same at $6 per user, per month.