Microsoft announces Office 365 price increases

Microsoft has confirmed that it will increase the pricing across the board for Office 365 subscriptions. The price increases will go into effect in six months, and Microsoft says the updated pricing reflects the "increased value" it delivered over the last decade. The software giant points to a handful of innovations that it has revealed in the last decade, helping Office 365 grow to over 300 million commercial paid users.

Microsoft has added 24 apps to the suite since it was first introduced. The apps include Microsoft Teams, Power Apps, Power BL, OneDrive, Yammer, and more. In addition, Microsoft brags that it has added over 1400 new features and capabilities in three major areas of Office 365. Those areas include communication and collaboration, Security and compliance, as well as AI and automation.

Teams is part of the communication and collaboration area and has seen massive growth during the pandemic that has forced most businesses to allow workers to work from home. Microsoft has made many changes in the security and compliance segment, including adding capabilities such as data loss prevention for email and documents. It also added message encryption capability to protect important data.

Over the last decade, Microsoft has worked to bring artificial intelligence capabilities across its applications. For example, Cloud-powered AI features allow users to automatically create maps, charts, and tables in Excel, among other uses. Microsoft has also announced new innovations for Office 365.

Microsoft announced unlimited dial-in capability for Teams meetings across the enterprise, business, frontline, and government suites over the next few months. One of the biggest challenges for many remote workers is Internet connectivity, and Microsoft sees dial-in options as critical to keeping everyone working together.

The new pricing model for Office 365 will go into effect on March 1, 2022. On that date, Microsoft 365 Business Basic will increase from $5 per user to $6 per user. Microsoft 365 Business Premium increases from $20 per user to $22 per user. Office 365 E3 will cost $23 per seat, Office 365 E5 will cost $38 per seat, and Microsoft 365 E3 will cost $36 per seat. The price increases will be applied globally with adjustments for local markets in certain areas.