Organizations that subscribe to certain business flavors of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 will have to shell out more money for the privilege next year. Microsoft has unveiled price increases for six different products due to kick in starting March 1, 2022. The higher costs will apply around the world but will affect only specific business and commercial editions and not education or consumer subscriptions at this point, the company said.
SEE: Office 365: A guide for tech and business leaders (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
The subscription prices will increase as follows:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic will rise from $5 to $6 per user
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium will rise from $20 to $22
- Office 365 E1 will rise from $8 to $10
- Office 365 E3 will rise from $20 to $23
- Office 365 E5 will rise from $35 to $38
- Microsoft 365 E3 will rise from $32 to $36.
In the blog post announcing the higher prices, Microsoft 365 corporate VP Jared Spataro called this “the first substantive pricing update since we launched Office 365 a decade ago.” To justify the higher prices, Spataro touted several enhancements that have graced these productivity products over the years.
Since launching Microsoft 365 four years ago, Microsoft has added 24 apps to the suite, including Microsoft Teams, Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, Stream, Planner, Visio, OneDrive, Yammer and Whiteboard. Further, the company has kicked off 1,400 new features in three key areas.
In terms of communication and collaboration, Microsoft rolled out its Teams software in 2017 as its all-in-one product for chatting, calling and managing projects and tasks. In 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic forced organizations to work remotely, Teams received more than 300 new features, including Together mode, background effects, large gallery view, raise hand, live reactions and breakout rooms.
Looking at security, Microsoft said that it added to Microsoft 365 such features as data loss prevention (DLP) for email and documents, sensitivity labels and message encryption. And to take advantage of artificial intelligence and automation, Microsoft 365 has taken on such capabilities as AI-powered real-time translation, captions and transcription.
Looking ahead, Microsoft announced that it will add unlimited dial-in capabilities for Microsoft Teams meetings over the next few months. This move is designed to help people join Teams meetings when they’re on the go or grappling with a poor internet connection.
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