Microsoft 365 has over 879,851 business users in the U.S. alone. It’s one of the most popular cloud productivity tools in the world. Many small and large companies alike have depended upon the Office suite from Microsoft (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) for decades, and now have switched over to the cloud version.
M365 Additional Apps
One of the reasons that Microsoft 365 has become so popular in the 10+ years that the platform has been out (initially released as Office 365) is because of all the additional apps that have been added.
The company has added over 24 different cloud applications over the years, significantly increasing the value of the platform to businesses. These include helpful apps like:
- OneDrive for cloud storage
- Teams for connecting via video, audio, chat
- Visio for the web
- And many others
M365 Price Increased
One example of this is the recent addition of webinar registration and sign-up page capabilities in Microsoft Teams. Many companies had previously used a different service for scheduling and conducting webinars. With Teams adding that capability, it eliminated that additional service needs.
Many of these updates have been at no additional cost, so organizations have enjoyed more capabilities without needing to pay extra for them. Some of the apps and enhancements to existing M365 apps have even allowed companies to save money by dropping other paid subscriptions.
But… the bill for all those value-adds is about to come due. Microsoft introduced a price increase that it describes as “the first substantive pricing update since we launched Office 365 a decade ago.”
Q&A About the New Microsoft 365 Price Increase
When is the Microsoft 365 Price Increase Happening?
A: The price increase will go into effect on March 1, 2022
Are All Microsoft 365 Plans Being Impacted?
A: No, all users will not experience a price increase on March 1st. For example, home and educational users will not be included, those prices will stay the same for now.
Also, it is not all commercial plans that are increasing. For example, Microsoft 365 Business Standard Users are not having their subscription prices impacted.
Which Microsoft 365 Plans Will Increase & By How Much?
A: The following commercial plans will be getting an increase. This is going to be anywhere between $1 to $4 per user per month, depending on the subscription plan.
The increase is global, being adjusted for each currency. The plans being impacted are as follows:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic: Going from $5 to $6 per user (+$1)
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium: Going from $20 to $22 per user (+$2)
- Office 365 E1: Going from $8 to $10 per user (+$2)
- Office 365 E3: Going from $20 to $23 per user (+$3)
- Office 365 E5: Going from $35 to $38 per user (+$3)
- Microsoft 365 E3: Going from $32 to $36 per user (+$4)
Microsoft 365 price change on monthly subscriptions
As eluded earlier, customers who purchase subscriptions with monthly terms will see prices going up by as much as 20%. That is on top of the price increase announced on flagship offers.
Price protection with LINKKONNECT
LINKKONNECT is offering discounted rates for annual and monthly subscriptions for existing and future customers with Managed IT Services contract:
- 5% off on qualified monthly offers
- an extra 3% off on qualified annual offers
Some users on Microsoft 365 Business Basic may be wondering if an upgrade is worth it, now that the price will be increasing to $6 per user/month.
What Do I Get If I Upgrade from Business Basic to Business Standard?
The Microsoft Business Standard plan is $12.50 per user/month. It includes the following additional features that Business Basic doesn’t have:
- Desktop versions of the Office apps for PC and Mac
- The ability to host webinars (including registration pages, email confirmations, reporting)
- Microsoft Bookings to allow online appointment booking for customers
Why Is Microsoft Increasing Pricing?
Microsoft notes several different reasons for the need to increase pricing, the additional applications that have been added over the years is just one of those reasons.
Security is another major reason. As cybersecurity threats have become more prevalent, the company has integrated additional security features into Microsoft 365 to help companies better secure their accounts and data.
One of these is the ability to encrypt email messages and attachments when sending them. Another is the addition of data loss prevention, which helps reduce the accidental sharing of sensitive information.
Compliance requirements for data privacy is another area where Microsoft has added a lot of capabilities for companies. This includes things like eDiscovery and core Litigation Hold.
Virtual meeting and team collaboration has become even more vital due to the pandemic. This is an area where Microsoft has focused a lot of resources.
It has added multiple enhancements to Microsoft Teams in the last year to enable companies to make more meaningful and effective online connections with internal teams and customers.
Dial-in: Microsoft Teams Meetings Changes
Another addition? Microsoft has also announced the extension of unlimited dial-in across its paid Enterprise, Business, Frontline, and Government suites, enabling users to dial in and join a Teams meeting from virtually any device. The change will affect:
- Enterprise: Microsoft 365 E3, Office 365 E3, and Office 365 E1
- Government (GCC, GCCH, and DOD): Microsoft 365 E3, Office 365 E3, Office 365 E1, Microsoft 365 F3, and Microsoft 365 F1
- Frontline: Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 F1, and Office 365 F3
- SMB: Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Dial-in is currently included with Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5. However, as our need to communicate has increased, Microsoft has come to see dial-in as an essential part of the complete Teams experience. Thus, this change will also be effective come March 2022. To be clear, this is not the cause of pricing changes. Extending dial-in capabilities across the SKUs is simply the latest example of how Microsoft regularly delivers new value to support the changing needs of its customers (like you!). Pretty nice, eh?
What does this mean for LINKKONNECT customers?
On March 1, 2022, the default setting (as it is now) will be for every customer to remain on month-to-month billing. This will mean incurring a price increase, depending upon your license. If you’d like to move to an annual plan to save money, you will simply contact us and we will help you on converting your monthly plan to an annual plan.
What about proration? If you buy a new subscription, say, 20 licenses of Business Premium on January 1, 2022, and then on March 1 by an additional 1 license, it will be prorated to the January 1, 2023 renewal date and you’ll pay for 10 months worth of the incremental license.
We’re here for you. Again, we know that no one loves to hear of a price increase but thankfully this one is small and with the added dial-in, everyone gets a little extra for free. If you have questions, would like more information on your plan, or are simply feeling unsatisfied with your partner and would like to shop around, please feel free to reach out via our contact form.