+Comment Microsoft looks to have increased the price it will charge for Office 365 in the Euro-zone, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and Canada.
Nicole Sheridan, who works and blogs for Irish distributor MicroWarehouse, has posted a Microsoft missive on the price rises. She also quotes from a Microsoft communiqué that says the price rises are justifiable because “cloud services are rapidly evolving, and Microsoft is adding significant value to our products.”
But the post also offers the following quote from a Microsoft missive that has reached MicroWarehouse:
Effective August 1st 2015, local prices for enterprise cloud products will increase to more closely align with prices within the EU/EFTA region. Prices in Euro will increase for Office 365 (+10%), CRM-Online (+10%), Enterprise Mobility Suite (+36%), and Azure (+13%). Similar adjustments will be made for enterprise cloud prices in Norwegian krone, Danish krone and Swedish krona.
So which is it, Microsoft? More value or closer alignment with local prices? Or both?
Sheridan's post also offers the table below:
Microsoft's Office 365 price hikes. Click here to embiggen.
The price rises won't hurt everyone, as those with Enterprise Agreements, Enterprise Subscription Agreements or signed up to the Azure Server and Cloud Enrollment scheme will be spared, as will others with ongoing Microsoft agreements. Sheridan also identifies another out: you can buy Office 365 at today's prices and use your activation keys for the service at your leisure, perhaps long after these price increases have come into effect. (Mind you, a distributor would like that cash now.)
Sheridan's post can probably be trusted: she's a stablemate of Aidan Finn who was accurate on the matter of Azure price increases.
Microsoft users will be accustomed to price increases. But there's something chilling about the “we baked more in so you should pay more” argument used for these rises, because in the past when Microsoft improved its products, you could choose not to buy them by just not upgrading to a new version.
In these cloudy times, if Redmond adds some extra goodies, they're just part of the product and opting out looks nigh-on impossible. Under the logic Sheridan brings us, Microsoft could revive Flight Simulator, bake it into Office, claim the suite now includes an immersive 3D flight training environment that improves decision-making acumen, and therefore decide to charge you more for the suite.
The cloud may be changing plenty about how IT gets done, but it's not changing Microsoft's ability to sniff out a buck or two. ®