If you use Microsoft Office 365 and have been enjoying all the little extras that have been added over the years (without an increase in price), it’s going to be time to pay the piper for some subscribers.
Microsoft has a price increase planned for the first quarter of 2022, which it describes as one of the biggest since it first brought out Office 365 over a decade ago.
Home and educational users can rest easy because their prices are not going up. Some business subscribers will also not be included in this price increase (e.g., Microsoft 365 Business Standard). But for other Microsoft 365 and Office 365 enterprise users, pricing will be going up between $1 and $4 per user/month.
Cloud productivity tools are a big part of any business IT infrastructure, and when prices go up, it’s important to budget accordingly. You may also want to have a cloud review done by Pro Tech Guy to see if there are any areas of waste where you can save money.
For example, if you happen to be paying for a separate webinar service when Teams in Microsoft 365 added that feature not too long ago, you could potentially offset the increase by dropping the additional app.
We’ll go through the new prices below, as well the reasons that Microsoft gives for its need to increase pricing.
New Microsoft 365 & Office 365 Pricing as of March 1, 2022
Here are the business and enterprise plans that will be increasing on March 1, 2022, and by how much:
- 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 Are Prices Increasing?
24+ New Applications Added
Since Office 365 first came out, Microsoft has continued adding more apps to the service, and many times these additions came without a price change.
Features like MS Teams have completely transformed how companies connect with their hybrid workforces. Applications like Microsoft Forms and Bookings add value to companies and reduce their need to depend upon other cloud services for things like customer appointment booking and online forms and surveys.
Microsoft hasn’t slowed down with adding more value in the form of new apps, either. Recently, it added Visio for the web for free to Microsoft Office 365 plans. It also just announced that coming in 2022 is Microsoft Loop, a new flexible canvas app with portable components.
Increased Security & Compliance Requirements
Another area where Microsoft has spent a lot of money is in fortifying Microsoft 365 and Office 365 against cyberattacks. It has added several security and compliance-focused applications to help companies keep their cloud data more secure.
Some of the new security additions to the platform over the years include:
- Data loss prevention
- Mobile device/endpoint management
- Sensitivity labels
- Message encryption
- Content Search
- Core Litigation Hold
The cybersecurity landscape continues to become more dangerous and requires more sophisticated tactics to combat. Thus, Microsoft will continue spending a lot in this area.
Automation & AI
Many of the applications in Microsoft 365 incorporate automation and AI to boost productivity and improve a company’s capabilities. For example, Presenter Coach in PowerPoint can listen to a person give a presentation and make suggestions to improve their delivery in numerous ways.
Excel now has automated charts that are smart enough to look at a person’s data and come up with insightful ways to present it using graphs and analytics. The user doesn’t even have to choose a specific chart, Excel will suggest it for them.
These types of additions save time and improve organizational capabilities in numerous ways. Microsoft anticipates incorporating more AI and automation in the future throughout the platform.
Extended Video Conferencing Capabilities
Microsoft Teams gets more robust every few months as the need for cloud connectivity and online collaboration increase. Some of the enhancements that Microsoft has made to Teams over the last year or so, helped companies expand their ability to interact virtually in many ways.
Recent additions include:
- Ability to do webinar registration in Teams
- Together Mode that makes everyone in a video call appear to be in the same place
- Automatic captioning with translations and support for 44 languages and dialects
- Presenter mode in Teams for more polished online meeting presentations
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