Are you unhappy with the price increase for Microsoft Office? 3 options to consider instead

The price you pay for your team to create all of these PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets are about to rise. Up.

Microsoft announced last week a price increase for Microsoft 365 services that will primarily impact business users. It’s a rare move for the enterprise software giant. As corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, Jared Spatoro details in a blog post, this is the “first substantial price update” since the launch of Microsoft 365 in 2011.

But why now, just as many companies are recovering from the economic fallout from the pandemic? Spatoro writes that this is due to the “increased value” Microsoft 365 has provided to its customers. Microsoft has added a number of new apps to its business offerings that many businesses rely on regularly, including Microsoft Teams, Outlook, OneDrive, and Whiteboard.

It’s no surprise that the rise is a big boost to the software giant’s bottom line. Microsoft will generate estimated annual revenue of $ 5 billion due to the Office 365 price hike, estimates Wedbush security company.

The price increase goes into effect in March 2022 and represents an increase of at least 10% and up to 25% per user. Here’s a breakdown of the new monthly rates below, by user:

Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($ 5 to $ 6)
Microsoft 365 Business Premium ($ 20 to $ 22)
Office 365 E1 ($ 8 to $ 10)
Office 365 E3 ($ 20 to $ 23)
Office 365 E5 ($ 35 to $ 38)
Microsoft 365 E3 ($ 32 to $ 36)

A more expensive Office 365 will have a particular impact on small businesses, which don’t benefit from the bulk pricing plans that large businesses can purchase. The new pricing levels will apply to businesses with up to 300 employees.

If you don’t want to pay more for Microsoft Office next year, you have a few options to cut costs:

Buy a standalone version of the programs you use the most.

Does your business only need Microsoft for Outlook? Or do only a few members of your team need access to Excel and PowerPoint? In some cases, your business could save money over time by purchasing a stand-alone version of a Microsoft app. For example, a standalone version of Microsoft Outlook is $ 139.99 for a lifetime and will only cover a PC or Mac. But you will have to pay additional fees for any upgrades, and you will only be able to access the program on the original device it is installed on.

Meanwhile, a Microsoft 365 Business Basic subscription will cost you just $ 72 per year per employee and includes Outlook, Word, Microsoft Teams, Excel, OneDrive, and more. It also includes free updates and access for up to six people per account.

But buying standalone versions will only really benefit you if you only use one or two of the main apps. You’ll also need to pay for upgrades and deal with compatibility issues over time. Since each Microsoft 365 Business Basic account allows you to share access with up to six people, it may be cheaper to get subscriptions for a few employees and have them share access with other members of the their team who need it.

Use the free version of Microsoft Teams.

If your business only uses Microsoft for video calls and chats, it might be a good idea to consider using the free version Microsoft teams. The free version allows video calls of up to 60 minutes and can accommodate up to 100 participants. You can make an unlimited number of audio and video calls. Best of all, Team’s use of the workplace chat tool is also unlimited. However, the free version of Teams only includes 10 GB of shared cloud storage, which can be a problem for some businesses.

Try G Suite or free cloud-based office tools.

If your business uses one of the higher-level Microsoft 365 plans (like Office 365 E3 or E5), switching to one of the higher-priced Google Workspace plans could save you a lot of money. from google Business Plus the plan is $ 18 per user per month, while Office 365 E3 is $ 23 per month. But at $ 6 per user, the lowest level in Google Workspace is the same price as the lowest level in Office 365.

Your business can also try a number of free office applications that may meet your needs. There are Apache OpenOffice, which includes six free applications: Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (diagrams and illustrations), Base (databases) and Math (mathematical equations). Libre Office, another free suite of office tools, includes similar applications.

Zoho, which offers everything from emails to spreadsheets to word processing, is free for up to three users, but the premium plan is only $ 3 per user, making it significantly less expensive than offers from Microsoft and Google.

Other great alternatives to Microsoft Office 365 include FreeOffice, WPS Office, I work, and Manuscript. All of these tools are open source and free, but compatibility with Microsoft Office may vary by program.


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