Expect to pay more for Office and Microsoft 365 next year
Microsoft may have reported record profits in its second quarter results.
But the software giant will bump up prices for Microsoft 365 and its widely used Office productivity suite from March 1, 2022. Microsoft 365 has over 300 million paying users worldwide.
Prices will typically rise by between US$1 and $4 per user per month, Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365 explained in a company blog. That equates to between a 9% and 25% price hike depending on the product and associated licence a customer has.
If that seems a bit rich, especially in the time of covid, Spataro is keen to convince us otherwise by pointing to the extensive innovation in the Office suite and Microsoft 365 over the last decade.
"In fact, since introducing Microsoft 365 we have added 24 apps to the suites - Microsoft Teams, Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, Stream, Planner, Visio, OneDrive, Yammer, and Whiteboard," he writes.
Microsoft Teams is increasingly at the heart of the Microsoft experience.
Microsoft Teams, the communication and collaboration platform which debuted in a low-key way with Microsoft 365 back in 2016, has experienced surging use during the pandemic and is increasingly at the heart of collaboration and document usage in Microsoft-dominant corporates and government departments.
That has served to entrench Microsoft in the business world as Teams increasingly becomes the front window into Sharepoint documents, business intelligence and serves as the place where video calls and messages are handled.
As businesses increasingly use Microsoft 365, they are more likely to also use Microsoft's Azure cloud platform too.
Here are what the pricing changes that take effect from March 1, 2022 will look like:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic, up US$1 to US$6 per month, per user.
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium, up US$2 to US$22 per month, per user.
- Office 365 E1, up US$2 to US$10 per month, per user.
- Office 365 E3, up US$3 to US$23 per month, per user.
- Office 365 E5, up US$3 to US$38 per month, per user.
- Microsoft 365 E3, up US$4 to US$36 per month, per user.
Pricing will remain unchanged for users of the education and consumer versions "at this time", says Microsoft.
One big area of focus for Microsoft currently is cybersecurity. With so much sensitive data sitting in Microsoft 365, the suite of products is a honey pot for cybercriminals hellbent on breaching its defences.
"Since we first introduced Microsoft 365, we have added new attack surface reduction capabilities to help organisations defend against ransomware and other threats. We have added capabilities like data loss prevention (DLP) for email and documents, sensitivity labels, and message encryption to help keep important data within the organisation," wrote Spataro.
Microsoft said yesterday that it would spend US$20 billion over the next five years on cybersecurity, effectively quadrupling its current annual spend in this area.
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