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Why Microsoft Is Raising Prices For the First Time In A While

Since 1975, Microsoft has been making many strides in technology. Now, for the first time in 10 years, they are raising the price on Office and Microsoft 365. This is because of the improvements they have made to this software over the years. The value has increased without the price changing over the last decade as they have made great improvements to their communications, collaboration, security, compliance, AI, automation, and audio conferencing.

Transforming Technology for 10 Years

Since its launch in 2011, Microsoft’s Office 365 has helped over 300 million businesses with their services, and there have been many updates to help make all of their products easier to use and change with the times. As security became more of a concern, Microsoft created Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) to add to their Microsoft 365 lineup in 2014. Teams was then added in 2017 as the first integrated communication solution, which became very useful by the time the pandemic started. This includes having messaging systems for meetings, phone calls, chat functions, and automated processes for businesses working on large projects.

After Microsoft 365 launched, Microsoft added 24 more applications to their services to help their customers. Some of these include Teams in 2017, Power Apps in 2018, Power BI in 2014 – 2015, Power Automate in 2019, Stream in 2017, Planner in 2016, Visio 2016 in 2015, Yammer in 2012, and Whiteboard in 2021. Altogether, there have been over 1,400 features introduced since Office 365 was launched and priced.

Communication and Collaboration

Microsoft focuses on communication and collaboration. Teams became the main software used by over 250 million people, whether for home or business. It is no surprise that they have been successful because it was the first solution that provided integrated ways to chat, meet, call, and automate processes with any business’ work flow. As it grew, there were many features added including live reactions, backdrops, breakout rooms, together mode, live captions, and Fluid components in 2020.

With all the new connections they created with Whiteboard, Power Platform, Planner, Lists, Forms, Sharepoint, and Shifts, Microsoft established new applications for collaboration while business teams transitioned to hybrid and at-home work. With remote workplaces becoming more common, other companies jumped in to integrate their services with Teams. Atlassian, Adobe, SAP, Workday, Salesforce, and ServiceNow created new ways to integrate their platforms with Microsoft, making collaboration easier than ever.

With Microsoft’s dedication to collaboration, their development of technology that works together in sync and at different times. Real-time updates and collaborations have since been added to more common Microsoft applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with mentions, task assignments, comments, and automatic saving. They also created ways for mailboxes with OneDrive to be stored and shared.

Compliance and Security

Microsoft also made strides towards compliance and security. At Rymark, we understand how important cybersecurity is and how complicated it can get. Cyberattacks have increased in numbers, scale, and refined. Every business should put the safety of their data high on their list of priorities. That’s why Microsoft added more features to reduce attacks since the launch of 365. While it isn’t a complete solution for company security, it does help defend businesses from some ransomware and protect important data. Features like data loss prevention and message encryption were added to their platforms. Along with security, extensive compliance features were also added. Content Search, eDiscovery, and Fundamental Litigation Hold are some of the applications added to help companies answer to new requirements and regulations. The great part is that administers of the can manage devices remotely.

Artificial Intelligence and Automation

The increasing emphasis on artificial intelligence and automation has also not gone unnoticed by Microsoft. They have launched many AI integrations for their products to increase productivity and collaboration. AI assists written items, designs, and presentations to be easier for those using 365. Excel even has AI to automatically create tables, maps, and charts to fit the data within it. On their email service, Outlook, can now automatically remove clutter and filter emails. The AI will also translate, caption, or transcribe within seconds.

Audio Conferencing On The Rise

Microsoft Teams has expanded their conferencing capabilities to include ways to dial into meetings no matter which suite or plan you have. Remote work has made connection issues more apparent in in online meetings, which is why having unlimited ways to dial-in is important. Microsoft’s new feature with 365 E5 allows unlimited dial-ins for meetings and is available in over 70 countries with a subscription. They also include customer support in 44 languages and dialects, providing ways for people to join meetings from anywhere and from multiple devices.

Pricing Updates

All of these updates and achievements has added value to Office 365 and Microsoft 365, which is why they are raising their prices. The new prices are affecting those with the commercial and business software and plans, called Microsoft’s software as a service (SaaS), starting March 1st, 2022. However, there aren’t any changes to educational institutions and consumers.

The new prices are as follows:

  • 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)

Since the launch of Office 365 in 2011, Microsoft has expanded their services for everyone. Jared Spataro, a Microsoft 365 executive, noted that the new prices are, “the first meaningful pricing reform since we launched Office 365 a decade ago.”

Learn more about how Microsoft helps employers expand their hybrid workforce by checking out the services on their website. If you want to see how these prices updates will affect your business, contact us to find the right plan for you.

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Mark Sommerfeld

Having a reliable and enthusiastic partner in the IT Support and Services sector is crucial for achieving sustained growth through effective technological strategies. Mark Sommerfeld, a partner at RYMARK, is fully committed to helping clients optimize their technology to gain a competitive edge in their respective industries. Within RYMARK, Mark collaborates with a dedicated team of professionals who are wholeheartedly committed to delivering exceptional IT Security & Services. Leveraging his extensive expertise and practical experience, Mark ensures that clients receive unparalleled support and guidance for their IT security projects. When you have RYMARK as your partner, you can depend on us to enhance your business systems and stay ahead in today's fiercely competitive business environment.