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Microsoft to stop accepting checks from partners

Maybe it's putting the savings into discounts for Windows Server and M365 it's told the channel to sell?

Microsoft has told its north American partners they can't pay with checks starting from December 1.

An advisory posted for partners last week warns that "Effective October 1, 2022, Microsoft will remove the check payment option from new commerce invoices. This change affects only the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Canada."

"All new and prospective partners will be required to remit payment to Microsoft only via wire transfer or ACH." ACH is a bank-to-bank money transfer mechanism intended to replace use of physical checks.

Microsoft will stop including details on how to pay by check on invoices issued from October 1st.

The software giant has not explained why it will stop accepting checks but it's not hard to guess why: checks require manual processing and funds they describe transfer far more slowly than is possible with digital transfers. US Federal Reserve data states that checks have also declined in popularity: the organisation processed 72 million each day back in 1989 but handled just 14.5 million a day in 2021 (although interestingly the average value of each check has risen steadily).

Microsoft's partner news feed also includes some good news for users in the form of lower prices for Windows Server and the Microsoft 365 bundle.

Cloud Solution Providers have been advised of a drop in price for the Windows Server 2022 Standard - 8 Core License Pack 1 Year, from $272 to $213.60 as of October 1st.

But buyers of single-user single year CAL licenses for Windows Server 2022 Remote Desktop Services will cop a price rise from $56.04 to $77.04.

New one and three-year subscriptions to Windows Server Datacenter edition are also on the way, priced at $3091.68 for eight cores over three years and $1481.28 for a single year.

The software giant hasn't advised when those deals will go on sale.

But it has told partners they should be finding new small business customers for Microsoft 365 or upgrading existing users. To make that happen, Microsoft is dangling a 16.7 percent discount for punters who sign up for monthly payments.

The offer runs from September 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and covers the following products.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
  • Microsoft Teams Essentials
  • Microsoft Defender for Business

While prices are down for commercial users, Microsoft has also reminded resellers that it is increasing the cost of some products for non-profit customers.

"We'll continue to provide non-profits discounts of up to 75 percent on many other Microsoft 365 products," Microsoft’s post states. ®

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