Microsoft published its August pricing list, which shows a roughly 15 percent increase to Office 365 prices for its Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers that don’t have an active Software Assurance (SA) plan.
While prices for Office 365 have trended downward since its inception and subsequent revisions, this increase is a sharp change in direction. It is likely a move driven by Microsoft’s desire for to initiate – or perhaps sustain – critical mass of commercial Office 365 accounts. Much of Microsoft’s previously released numbers for Office 365 were private individuals and smaller firms. BUT, a shift is appearing with more organizations moving to hosted services, with Office 365 being an important driver due to more pliant work environments, BYOD, and a re-direction (though not necessarily a lessening) of costs.
Starting in August, Microsoft will expand discounts to its Office 365 E1, E3 and E4 subscriptions. Such a discount combines an attractive price point with the leveraging of the existing investment in Software Assurance.
For Microsoft, it means continued annuity revenue.