Your team will be charged more to produce all those Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. It’s going up.
Microsoft last week announced a price increase for Microsoft 365 services that will primarily impact commercial users. It is an unusual move by the corporation software giant. As corporate vice president for Microsoft 365 Jared Spatoro details in a blog post, it’s the “first substantive pricing update” since Microsoft 365 launched in 2011.
Why is it that businesses are now recovering from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic? Spatoro writes it is due to “increased worth” Microsoft 365 has provided to customers. Microsoft has added a number of new apps to its business offerings that many companies rely on regularly, including Microsoft Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, and Whiteboard.
The software company’s bottom line will be greatly benefited by the price hike. Microsoft will net an estimated $5 billion in annual revenue due to the price hike for Office 365, estimates security firm Wedbush.
This price increase will take effect March 20, 2022 and amounts to a minimum 10 percent, as well as as many as 25% per user. Below is a breakdown of new monthly pricing, as per user.
Microsoft 365 Business Basic (from £5 to $6
Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $22 to $20)
Office365 E1 starting at $8-10
Office365 E3 (from $23 to $20)
Office365 E5 (from 35 to $38)
Microsoft 365 E3 (from $22 to $356)
Small businesses will be most affected by Office 365’s higher price. They don’t have the same access to bulk pricing as larger corporations. Businesses with up to 300 employees will be eligible for the new pricing levels.
There are a number of ways to reduce costs if you do not want to spend more on Microsoft Office for next year.
Buy a separate version of the software you most frequently use.
Is your company only using Outlook for Microsoft? Do you only need Microsoft Outlook? Or does your business have access to Excel or PowerPoint for a small number of people on your team? A standalone Microsoft App can save your company money in some situations. For example, a standalone version of Microsoft Outlook is $139.99 for a lifetime, and will only cover one PC or one Mac. You will need to pay an upgrade fee and can only access the program from the device where it was installed.
A subscription to Microsoft 365 Business Basic costs $72 per person per year. It includes Outlook, Word and Excel as well as OneDrive and OneDrive. You can also get free updates for up to six users per account.
However, purchasing standalone versions is only beneficial if you use only one or two core applications. As the time goes by, you’ll need to upgrade and fix compatibility problems. Each Microsoft 365 Business Basic account can be shared with six users, so it might save you money to purchase subscriptions for a handful of employees to allow them to access the service to other members of their team.
Get the Microsoft Teams free edition.
If your business only uses Microsoft for video calls and chats, it may be wise to consider using the free version of Microsoft Teams. You can make video calls for up to 60 minutes and host up to 100 people with the free version. Unlimited audio and video calling is possible. The best part is that you can use Team’s workplace chat software unlimited. The free Team’s version only offers 10GB shared cloud storage. This may be a concern for businesses.
Try G Suite, or the free cloud-based office software tool.
Switching to a higher-priced Google Workspace plan could help you save significant money if your company is using one of the more expensive Microsoft 365 plans (like Office 365 E3 and E5). Google’s Business Plus plan is $18 per user per month, while Office 365 E3 is $23 per month. The lowest tier in Google Workspace costs $6 per user. This is also the price for Office 365 E3 (which runs at $23/month).
You can also use any of the free office software that suits your business’ needs. There’s Apache OpenOffice, which includes six free applications: Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (diagrams and illustrations), Base (databases), and Math (math equations). Libre Office is another suite that offers similar tools.
Zoho, which offers everything from email to spreadsheets to word processing, is free for up to three users, but the premium plan is only $3 per user, making it significantly cheaper than offerings from Microsoft and Google.
WPS Office and Manuskript are other options to Microsoft Office 365. These tools can be used openly and are free. However, compatibility with Microsoft Office may differ from one program to another.
Publiated at Tue 24 August 2021, 04:43:05 +0000