Microsoft 365 Business is now available to SMBs

All-in-one package exits beta phase as Redmond brings in LinkedIn data to Outlook

Microsoft 365 Business has now officially left its preview build state and is generally available to all SMB customers.

Redmond's bundle package, which includes Office 365, Windows 10, its suite of mobile platform tools, and all the associated security software, has until now only been available in beta.

The suite was originally pitched as a single solution for businesses of any size, however, a few months ago the company decided to split the offering into two packages - one for enterprise customers, which is already on sale, and this one, tuned for smaller businesses of up to 300 employees.

Microsoft says the package is "purpose-built" for small and medium sized businesses that have yet to develop IT resources but require a collaboration tool.

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With Microsoft 365 Business you're essentially getting all the applications, storage, and email services of Office 365, which includes Microsoft's Teams collaboration platform, as well as device management capabilities and added security measures such as Windows Defender.

The business version of the suite has been tweaked in order to support companies that may not necessarily have dedicated IT support services. This includes simplifying the UI and the addition of the Microsoft Admin Console, which allows for the management of security settings, device access, and the installation of Windows 10 and Office 365 from a single window.

Alongside its release, Office 365 is also receiving new features as it expands to 96 new markets. Translation tools for Microsoft Word have been revamped, which now supports 60 languages and can translate sections of text or an entire document, saving the results as a separate document.

OneDrive users can now choose whether they want their files stored online or on their disk at anytime with a double click, and the service now also supports 3D objects, allowing users to upload their concept designs without needing a plugin.

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Perhaps the biggest change is the integration of LinkedIn data into Outlook, added yesterday, which allows users to view profiles, work history and activity from a person's social feed from within the Outlook inbox.

Main image: Bigstock. Body images: courtesy of Microsoft

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