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Microsoft Increasing Office 365 Prices In 2022

Microsoft recently announced that it would change the prices of several of its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions. The increased fees will go into effect starting March 1, 2022. According to the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, Jared Spataro, the price increase reflects the increased value the company has been providing to its users over the years.

He adds that this is the first substantive pricing update the company is making since launching Office 365 in 2011. The price increase will affect business and commercial users of Microsoft software offerings, but consumer and education products will remain unaffected.

What are the New Microsoft 365 Subscription Prices?

In some cases, Microsoft is increasing its subscription prices to match those of its competitors. In other cases, the intention is to purely reflect the considerable value the company has added to its suites over the years. The new prices will be as follows:

  • Microsoft 365 E3 will increase to $36 per user per month, up from $32
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium will increase to $22 per user per month, up from $20
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic goes up from $5 to $6 per user per month
  • Office 365 E5 will increase to $38 per user per month, up from $35
  • Office 365 E3 will increase $23 per user per month, up from $20
  • Office 365 E1 will increase to $10 per user per month, up from $8

The Microsoft 365 E5 suite will remain unaffected by the price changes. It currently goes for $57 per user per month, and Spataro believes that the price changes may make the Microsoft 365 E5 SKU a more appealing offer to customers. According to Microsoft, only 8% of its 300 million commercial users of the Office 365 Suite currently use Office 365 E5 Suite. Additionally, the company is not changing the pricing for the F (Firstline worker) SKUs as they are still relatively new in the market.

As the company increases its earnings from each Office subscriber, it’s also another way to expand its Office cloud business. This is another area that the company is making progress too, leaving aside the incoming price increases.

Price Increase Based on Notable Value Addition

The company notes that it has continually delivered notable innovations in three critical areas since the launch of Office 365:

  • Security and compliance
  • Communications and collaboration
  • AI and automation

Besides, Microsoft also recently announced the addition of audio conferencing capabilities to meet the changing needs of its customers. The addition of unlimited dial-in capabilities for Teams meetings across the government, frontline workers, business, and enterprise suites over the coming months is also a value addition that can’t go unnoticed. The feature will allow people to dial in and join meetings from different devices. Users will not have to download the Teams app, but can use it as a conferencing bridge to join a forum over the internet.

Looking back, Microsoft launched Microsoft 365 four years ago, bringing together the best of Windows, Office, and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS). Besides, Microsoft Teams was also added as the only integrated solution to help users meet, collaborate, chat, and automate business processes, all for an enhanced workflow.

Since introducing Microsoft 365, the company has developed and added 24 apps, including:

  • Power Apps
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Power Automate
  • Whiteboard
  • Yammer
  • OneDrive
  • Visio
  • Planner
  • Stream
  • Power BI

With all these apps came 1,400 additional features and capabilities revolving around three key areas as outlined below.

Security and Compliance 

The cybersecurity landscape is changing and faced with more threats than ever before. As the volume, sophistication, and scale of cyber incidents continue to rise, security and compliance should be on the priority list for every enterprise. Since Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 365 suite, it has also added new attack surface reduction capabilities. These have come in handy to empower organizations in their defense against ransomware and other cyber threats.

Additional security features include sensitivity labels, data loss prevention for documents and emails, and message encryption to keep sensitive data within a company. Other powerful compliance capabilities that help reduce risk and respond to increasing regulatory requirements include eDiscovery, Content Search, and Core Litigation Hold.

Communication and Collaboration 

Microsoft Teams is the platform that has brought a change in various fronts across life, work, and learning for more than 250 million users worldwide. The company first launched the platform in 2017 to facilitate chats, collaboration, and automation of business processes. In 2020, Microsoft released several other capabilities to enhance the Teams platform, including:

  • Live reactions
  • Gallery view
  • Background effects
  • Large gallery view
  • Breakout rooms
  • Raise hand
  • Live captions, among others

The collaborative applications in Teams came in handy to empower users for hybrid work through deep integrations with SharePoint, Whiteboard, Planner, and Lists. The company continues to introduce more solutions for both real-time and asynchronous collaboration.

AI and Automation 

Microsoft has, over the years, infused AI capabilities across its productivity and collaboration platforms as a way to help users achieve more. AI capabilities across Microsoft 365 have been beneficial for designers, writers, and presenters. Powered by the cloud, AI automatically creates tables, charts, maps in Excel, sorts emails in Outlook, and removes clutter. Besides, AI-powered captions, real-time translation, and transcription have enhanced communication and collaboration, making them more engaging and accessible for all users.

Final Thoughts

Microsoft is planning to increase the prices of most of its Office and Microsoft 365 suites come 2022. However, along with the price increases, the company is also making provisions for other features like the dial-in capabilities that will roll out in the next few months. Overall, the price increase reflects the value the company has continued to provide through its various solutions and platforms.

As you continue to empower your team for a more flexible and hybrid work environment, it’s clear that you need a new operating model across processes and people. Microsoft is committed to building on its value to continue providing innovation to help users succeed. At LAN Infotech, we are also committed to seeing you succeed across all Microsoft platforms. If you have questions or concerns regarding the upcoming changes, we are here to help. Contact us today for this and all of your Microsoft and IT support needs.