Commercial Microsoft 365 Fee Increases

Microsoft has announced a plan rate increase for the first time in over ten years. According to the tech giant, most Microsoft 365 business plans will see a price change.
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Commercial Microsoft 365 Fee Increases: Here’s The New Price List

Launched in 2011, Microsoft 365, formerly Office 365, is a cloud-based Microsoft Office suite that combines various online services such as cloud file storage, secure communication, and business-class email. It features core and traditional Office apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, which can be accessed from any web browser. As a subscription-based service, Microsoft 365 applications and other online services are available for users connected to the internet and with an active subscription.

Microsoft has announced a plan rate increase for the first time in over ten years. According to the tech giant, most Microsoft 365 business plans will see a price change, but pricing for consumers, education, and non-profits will remain unchanged.

Commercial Microsoft 365 Fee Increases

Microsoft 365 New Prices

Microsoft announced the new prices for most of its Microsoft 365 subscription plans that will begin on March 1, 2022. The updated prices will apply globally and largely depend on local market regulations for certain regions. Here are the new prices for Microsoft 365 subscription plans:

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic (Billed per user from $5 to $6)
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium (Billed From $20 to $22)
  • Office 365 E1 (Billed From $8 to $10)
  • Office 365 E3 (Billed From $20 to $23)
  • Office 365 E5 (Billed From $35 to $38)
  • Microsoft 365 E3 (Billed From $32 to $36)

These are the “first substantive pricing” changes since Microsoft launched the servers in 2011. Since that time, the company has added 24 new apps to the service, including Teams, PowerBI, Planner, Flow, and Visio, so one clearly gets more for one’s dollar than you did in 2011.

Another significant change since Microsoft 365 was launched includes over 1,400 new features, making this online Office suite ideal for organizations looking to manage their data more efficiently. In addition, Microsoft officials mentioned that plans are underway to enhance existing features while adding new features to Microsoft 365 and better the service.

For instance, Microsoft plans to release unlimited dial-in capabilities for Teams across the paid enterprise, business, government, and frontline worker suites. This feature intends to allow users to dial in and join Teams meetings without downloading and installing the app on devices. This, among other features, is what Microsoft intends to roll out and make the service ideal for all businesses, regardless of industry, size, operations, or subscription plan.

Microsoft 365 Online Services

Microsoft 365 is an entirely online Office suite with a mix of services offered on a subscription basis. Unlike traditional Microsoft Office versions, Microsoft 365 offers core Office applications with numerous online services. Here are five critical online services designed for business and enterprise plans.

Exchange Online

Microsoft 365 includes a business-class email that gives subscribers a mailbox with up to 100 GB of storage space. Users can access emails via a web browser on Mac, Windows, or mobile devices using the Outlook Office application. Besides, the exchange online service includes inbuilt malware and spam filtering features to provide seamless email solutions similar to traditional email platforms.

SharePoint Online

Although previous suites feature SharePoint, Microsoft 365 comes with a sleek design, making it easier for teams to share files and sync data in File Explorer. The approach uses an identical desktop client similar to OneDrive for Business. Generally, SharePoint Online and Exchange Online feature administrative controls restricting users from sharing or sending sensitive or confidential company information to third parties.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams replaces Skype for Business in Microsoft 365, offering unified communications, instant messaging, and High-Definition video conferencing. It is a collaborative service that works seamlessly with team-and-channel-based architecture to cover similar features as alternatives to Skype features such as Slack. Microsoft also includes a free version of Teams that allows startups and small organizations to utilize the service without paying for license fees.

OneDrive For Business

All Microsoft 365 business subscribers get up to 1 TB of personal OneDrive for Business capacity to store their files and documents, including other business data. However, Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans allow administrators to upgrade or increase storage capacity to unlimited if the terabyte is insufficient. There are also sync clients available for desktop and mobile versions, with Windows 10 clients featuring the same client to help store data in separate locations. File on Demand lets users view and manage cloud-based storage via File Explorer, provided the device is connected to the internet.

Promise for Continuous Innovation

With the addition of 24 new applications and releasing over 1,400 new features and capabilities, Microsoft remains committed to improving Microsoft 365 in different ways. This ensures organizations get more from the service rather than storing and accessing data remotely from the cloud. However, the tech giant focuses on three key areas.

Communications and Collaborations

Microsoft Teams is the latest communication platform from Microsoft, with more than 250 million active users monthly. Launched in 2017, it is an integrated solution that allows users to meet, call, chat, collaborate and automate company processes facilitated by Office apps. In 2020, Microsoft Teams received over 300 capabilities, including large gallery view, breakout rooms, together mode, and live reactions, to improve communication capabilities, especially with more businesses embracing video calling and conferencing.

And with hybrid and remote work becoming part of modern businesses today, Microsoft Teams now has collaborative applications to empower people and organizations through deep integration with existing apps. This enables businesses to bring processes and functions into the flow of work directly. Other solutions in Teams include real-time and asynchronous collaboration that work seamlessly with core Office apps and other capabilities.

Security and Compliance

Video calling and conferencing, remote access to documents and files, and other features in Microsoft 365 are potential vulnerabilities that can expose the service to cyberattacks. But according to Microsoft, the company integrates robust and reliable security features into the service to prevent cyberattacks. New attack surface reduction capabilities help businesses defend against ransomware and associated attacks.

Despite the accelerating volume, sophistication, and scale of cyber threats, Microsoft remains dedicated to securing its product with security features like Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and message encryption. Also, powerful compliance capabilities have been added to the service to help reduce risk while responding to escalating regulatory requirements such as eDiscovery and Content Search.

AI and Automation

Like other Microsoft productivity and collaboration applications, Microsoft 365 includes AI-powered innovations to allow users to achieve more. Cloud-based AI lets users create charts, maps, and tables automatically in Excel, as well as sort emails and eliminate clutter in Outlook. Besides, AI-powered real-time translation, transcription, and captions create more accessible and engaging communication and collaboration among users.

Bottom Line

Microsoft 365 offers multiple benefits to organizations, especially with new improvements, advancements, and additional features introduced systematically. And with a decade of service delivery without any price changes, Microsoft’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise to many, since the service offers more than when it was first launched. Most organizations should have adequate time to prepare and adjust their budgets to adapt to new price changes.

At Advantage Industries, we provide IT support and service, enabling your business to grow and have an efficient IT infrastructure, both internally and externally. To learn more about Microsoft 365 price changes or if you need help with your IT infrastructure, contact us or schedule your complimentary strategic IT consultation with us today!