Whether you use Microsoft 365 currently or are contemplating using it in the future, there is some big news that you need to know about related to pricing.

Being able to properly budget for your technology infrastructure is important for any business. If you get caught short unexpectedly, then you may have to sacrifice in an area that can hurt your company, such as having to downgrade your cloud services or IT security.

Microsoft 365 is one of the most used cloud services in the world. Beyond the Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), it has multiple cloud communication and collaboration tools that have been added over the years. Many of these are quite valuable to companies, including OneDrive for cloud file storage and Teams for chat, audio, and video calls.

Microsoft describes the price increase that is coming in 2022 as the “first substantive pricing update since we launched Office 365 a decade ago.” 

Over a decade ago, when Office 365 (later renamed to Microsoft 365) first launched it only included Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Lync, Exchange, and InfoPath. Today’s platform looks much different, with over 24 new apps added since that time.

Some of the most popular applications added that have enabled businesses in several ways, include:

  • SharePoint
  • OneDrive
  • Teams
  • Bookings
  • Forms
  • Lists
  • Yammer
  • To Do
  • Whiteboard
  • OneNote
  • And others

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Microsoft 365 Price Hike

When Is the Price Increase Happening?

The price increase for Microsoft 365 will go into effect on March 1, 2022.

Are All Subscription Plans Being Impacted?

Microsoft is not raising the price for all Microsoft 365 subscribers. Home users and Educational users are both exempt and will not be seeing a change in pricing at this time.

This price increase is mainly targeted at commercial customers, but some of them will also be spared. For example, Microsoft 365 Business Standard plans are not being increased in this price hike.

Who Is Impacted & By How Much?

A number of Microsoft 365 Business and Office 365 Enterprise plans will be increased come March 2022. The increase will range from $1 per user/month to $4 per user/month, just depending upon the plan.

Plans being impacted and the increased amount:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: Increasing from $5 to $6 per user (+$1)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: Increasing from $20 to $22 per user (+$2)
  • Office 365 E1: Increasing from $8 to $10 per user (+$2)
  • Office 365 E3: Increasing from $20 to $23 per user (+$3)
  • Office 365 E5: Increasing from $35 to $38 per user (+$3)
  • Microsoft 365 E3: Increasing from $32 to $36 per user (+$4)

Why the Price Increase Now?

While you may wonder if this price hike is somehow related to the post-pandemic inflation the U.S. is currently seeing, companies like Microsoft tend to make big plans like these years in advance.

The company provides several reasons for the need to increase prices for users at this time.

Security & Compliance Enhancements

Over the years, the cyber world has gotten more dangerous. For example, in May and June of 2021 phishing attacks increased over 280% each month.

Going hand-in-hand with increased cyber threats is the addition of data privacy regulations that companies must follow to keep the data they collect from employees and customers secure.

Microsoft has been adding security and compliance capabilities to Microsoft 365 over the years, all without charging extra for them. So, the bill is now coming due for those and future security enhancements it expects to make.

Some recent additions include the ability for users to encrypt email messages and attachments, eDiscovery, sensitivity labels, and data loss prevention (DLP).

Team Communication & Collaboration

Anyone that uses Microsoft Teams will know that the platform has been getting a lot of time and attention from Microsoft over the last few years. Its capabilities have expanded to use as a full VoIP company phone system, and it can also now double as a webinar service (registration activities like those you see in an app like GoToWebinar were added recently).

These are other enhancements that have not yet come with a price increase, until now.

AI and Automation

Microsoft 365 has AI and automation infused throughout the user experience in multiple applications. This includes time and cost-saving features like predictive text in Word and Outlook, data types in Excel, and Presenter Coach in PowerPoint.

These features are big productivity boosters and are designed to make everyday tasks faster and more intuitive. Microsoft plans to continue adding more AI and automation in the future, which is another reason it gives for the need to increase prices now.

Have You Fully Tapped Into the Value of Your Microsoft 365 Account?

Trinity Worldwide Technologies can work with your business to ensure you’re fully exploring all the capabilities you have with your Microsoft 365 subscription.

Contact us today to learn more! Call 732-780-8615 or email us at [email protected]