Recent announcements and updates from Microsoft reveal changes to Office 365 (O365) and Microsoft 365 (M365) plans, pricing, and term contracts in two key areas:

  • A price increase is coming for six of the core O365 and M365 plans on March 1, 2022 
  • March will also bring the introduction of the New Commerce Experience (NCE), including price adjustments for Microsoft cloud products depending on how the client purchases and manages their licensing (annually or monthly) 

See below for a list of FAQs regarding the upcoming changes.

When is the Microsoft 365 price increase happening?

The price increase will go into effect on March 1, 2022.

Why is Microsoft increasing pricing?

Microsoft notes several different reasons for the need to increase pricing. The additional applications that have been added over the years is just one of those reasons.  

Security is another major reason. As cybersecurity threats have become more prevalent, the company has integrated additional security features into Microsoft 365 to help companies better secure their accounts and data. One of these features is the ability to encrypt email messages and attachments when sending them. Another is the addition of data loss prevention, which helps reduce the accidental sharing of sensitive information. 

Compliance requirements for data privacy is another area where Microsoft has added a lot of capabilities for companies. This includes things like eDiscovery and core Litigation Hold. 

Virtual meetings and team collaboration have become even more vital due to the pandemic. This is an area where Microsoft has focused more resources. It has added multiple enhancements to Microsoft Teams in the last year to enable companies to make more meaningful and effective online connections with internal teams and customers.

Are all Microsoft 365 plans being impacted?

No, all users will not experience a price increase on March 1st. For example, home and educational users will not be included; those prices will stay the same for now. Also, it is not all commercial plans that are increasing. For example, Microsoft 365 Business Standard users will not have their subscription prices impacted.

Which Microsoft 365 plans will increase & by how much? 

The following commercial plans will be getting an increase. This is going to be anywhere from $1 to $4 per user per month, depending on the subscription plan. The increase is global, being adjusted for each currency. The plans being impacted are as follows: 

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: Going from $5 to $6 per user/month (+$1) 
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: Going from $20 to $22 per user/month (+$2) 
  • Office 365 E1: Going from $8 to $10 per user/month (+$2) 
  • Office 365 E3: Going from $20 to $23 per user/month (+$3) 
  • Office 365 E5: Going from $35 to $38 per user/month (+$3) 
  • Microsoft 365 E3: Going from $32 to $36 per user/month (+$4)

What do I get if I upgrade from Business Basic to Business Standard?

Some users on Microsoft 365 Business Basic may be wondering if an upgrade is worth it now that the price will be increasing to $6 per user/month. Here is some info to help you decide: 

The Microsoft Business Standard plan is $12.50 per user/month. It includes the following additional features that Business Basic doesn’t have: 

  • Desktop versions of the Office apps for PC and Mac 
  • The ability to host webinars (including registration pages, email confirmations, reporting) 
  • Microsoft Bookings to allow online appointment booking for customers

When is my annual renewal date?

You may have multiple renewal dates on different products. River Run will work with you to co-term those agreements and get you the best pricing possible at renewal time.

Should I renew before March 1 so that I can take advantage of one more year of lower prices?

In some cases, yes, this makes sense – you should be receiving a message directly from River Run about the plan for your specific situation.

Do I need to renew and pay for my licensing all at once?

No – you can still split payments and pay monthly; however, you will be committed to paying for those licenses for one full year.

Can I add and remove licenses?

You can add licenses; if it is after March 1 and is one of the impacted products above, you will see the 20% increase. Important to note: once purchased, you only have 72 hours to return that license. Otherwise, you are on the hook for payment until your annual renewal date. 

If you would like the option to add/remove licenses whenever you’d like, that comes at a premium price. If you are interested in moving to that option, please reach out to your Account Executive. 

We hope this helps you as we move closer to March 1. Please contact your River Run Account Executive or Technical Service Leader if you have additional questions.  



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