Some people might be surprised about Office 366 and the loss of services for a day, but they shouldn’t be. It’s a demonstration of the much tighter control Microsoft has over Office 365 customers.
The switch to an annual payment, so-called ‘subscription’, system for Office has many benefits for Microsoft. Regular income stream, cutting out retailer margins and lower costs are just some.
Another big corporate benefit is being able to change what the customer gets and how much they have to pay.
Over the last few years, there’s been plenty of examples where Microsoft has used this power.
Microsoft has often altered what customers get for the annual fee. So far, most of those changes have been good for consumers but not always.
Microsoft Office 365 giveth ….
- Office 365 Home increases from 5 to 6 users.
- Office 365 Personal went from a single install to five logins.
- Install Office software / apps on as many devices as you like.
- Office 365 users login from Office software/apps on up to five devices at a time.
- The new Office 365 install rule is fantastic news for virtual machines
… and Microsoft taketh away
- OneDrive dropped from ‘unlimited’ storage to 1 Terabyte.
At the time, Microsoft made the implausible excuse that some customers were using ‘too much’ unlimited space. It’s a blatant falsehood disproved by Microsoft’s own statistics but still repeated to this day.
The annual payment model allows the seller to change prices any time. Microsoft has done that a few times already.
In 2017, Australian customers saw their Office 365 prices increase 11% with a few days warning.
Indian customers have seen two price increases. In 2017 Office 365 got 18% more expensive due to a combination of tax changes and Microsoft price rise. Just over a year later, Microsoft India raised the Office 365 price by another 15% .
Making customers pay more
Even when the Office 365 official prices remain unchanged, Microsoft is using other tricks to get more money from customers.
Automatic Office 365 renewals are pushed very hard because it’s a big money maker for Microsoft.
If people renew direct, Microsoft doesn’t have to pay a retailers margin and charges full price on the day it’s due. Not only does the company get the highest price, they don’t have to share the takings and can plan ahead knowing how many renewals fall due in weeks ahead.
We’re now seeing big retailers like Amazon and Best Buy offer full price Office 365 renewals themselves.
It shows, yet again, how what we get and how much we have to pay for Office 365 can be changed at any time.