Microsoft is Raising Prices for the First Time In a Long Time: Here’s Why

Microsoft is raising the price of its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services for the first time in a decade. This new pricing reflects the improved value they’ve provided over the last decade. Let's look at some of the breakthroughs they've made in three major areas over the last decade: communications and collaboration, security and compliance, and AI and automation, as well as the addition of audio conferencing capabilities.

10 years of continuous innovation

Office 365 has grown to exceed 300 million commercial paying seats since its inception a decade ago. They’ve re-invested to satisfy their consumers' shifting needs along the road. Microsoft 365 was created four years ago to combine the best of Office, Windows, and Enterprise Mobility and Security together (EMS). That same year, Microsoft Teams was introduced as the only integrated solution that allows you to meet, chat, phone, collaborate, and automate business processes while still in the middle of a project.

Since the launch of Microsoft 365, 24 additional apps—Microsoft Teams, Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, Stream, Planner, Visio, OneDrive, Yammer, and Whiteboard—have been added to the suites, totaling over 1,400 new features and capabilities in three major categories.

Collaboration and communication. Microsoft Teams is the new front end for over 250 million monthly active users across business, life, and learning. Teams was introduced in 2017 as the only integrated solution that allows you to meet, chat, phone, collaborate, and automate business processes all inside the flow of work, using the power of the Office apps. Together mode, backdrop effects, wide gallery view, raise hand, live reactions, breakout rooms, live captions with speaker attribution, and Fluid components are just a few of the new features they delivered in 2020.

Through extensive connections with Power Platform, Whiteboard, Lists, Planner, Shifts, Forms, and SharePoint, a new category of collaborative applications in Teams was established, empowering people and organizations for hybrid work. Companies such as Adobe, Atlassian, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, and Workday have developed apps that interface tightly with Teams, integrating business processes and functions into the flow of work.

Microsoft continues to develop real-time and asynchronous collaboration technologies. They offered real-time collaboration in the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint desktop apps, as well as a growing range of collaboration features like @mentions, assign tasks, modern comments, and auto-save. Additionally, OneDrive online storage and Exchange Online mailboxes have been introduced and increased.

Compliance and security. The cybersecurity environment is more complicated than it has ever been. With the increasing volume, sophistication, and scale of cyberattacks, every firm must prioritize security and compliance. Microsoft has added additional attack surface reduction features to Microsoft 365 since its launch to assist enterprises defend against ransomware and other attacks. To assist protect important data within the organization, they've included features like data loss prevention (DLP) for email and documents, sensitivity labels, and message encryption. They've also included robust compliance features like Content Search, eDiscovery, and fundamental Litigation Hold to help firms reduce risk and respond to growing regulatory requirements. Admins can support remote and hybrid workplaces with built-in mobile device management (MDM) and other management solutions like Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Artificial intelligence and automation. Microsoft has integrated AI capabilities across all productivity and collaboration products over the last decade to help everyone achieve more. They offered AI-powered advancements throughout Microsoft 365 to help users become better writers, designers, and presenters. In Excel, cloud-based AI now automatically makes maps, charts, and tables, while in Outlook, it filters mails and removes clutter. Real-time translation, captioning, and transcription driven by AI make collaboration and communication more accessible and entertaining for everybody.

Extending audio conferencing capabilities

Microsoft Teams meetings now have unlimited dial-in capabilities across their enterprise, commercial, frontline, and government suites. Even when cloud connectivity improves, individuals continue to attend Teams meetings while on the go or with a poor internet connection. The dial-in capability, which is now featured with Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5, is an integral aspect of the overall Teams experience. Unlimited dial-in, which is available with a subscription in over 70 countries with interactive support in 44 languages and dialects, ensures that users may join their Microsoft Teams meetings from nearly any device, regardless of location.

New pricing

Microsoft is raising the price of its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services for the first time in a decade. The price hikes will affect commercial and business users of Microsoft's software as a service (SaaS) services next year, but there will be no changes in education or consumer pricing.

Microsoft’s updated pricing will go into effect on March 1st, 2022:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (from $5 to $6 per user)

  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $20 to $22)

  • Office 365 E1 (from $8 to $10)

  • Office 365 E3 (from $20 to $23)

  • Office 365 E5 (from $35 to $38)

  • Microsoft 365 E3 (from $32 to $36)

Microsoft first released Office 365 in 40 different areas in 2011, and the business has been steadily enhancing it since then. According to Microsoft 365 executive Jared Spataro, these price revisions are "the first meaningful pricing reform since we launched Office 365 a decade ago."

As leaders around the world seek to equip their employees for a more flexible, hybrid work environment, it's apparent that every company will require a new operating model that spans people, places, and processes. Microsoft is committed to continuing to bring innovation that helps their customers flourish and prosper today and in the future, expanding on the value they've provided over the last decade.





To learn more about Microsoft’s price increases and for help figuring out what plan is right for you or to speak with our IT support team, contact RCS Professional Services. You can also visit our youtube channel for Microsoft Teams Training.

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Microsoft is Raising Prices for the First Time In a Long Time: Here’s Why

Microsoft is raising the price of its Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services for the first time in a decade. This new pricing reflects the improved value they’ve provided over the last decade. Let's look at some of the breakthroughs they've made in three major areas over the last decade: communications and collaboration, security and compliance, and AI and automation, as well as the addition of audio conferencing capabilities.

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