Microsoft’s Office suite of productivity apps is really popular among businesses as well as general consumers. The tech giant is expected to roll out a New Commerce Experience for Office in 2022, which will change the way businesses buy its software. However, a report by CNBC says that Microsoft will ‘force’ organisations to pay 20% more every month if they don’t opt for its annual subscription plans.
The report states that the idea behind this is to lock in customers for a longer period of time and not worry about losing them. Not to forget the extra revenue it will make. The annual plans from Microsoft do cost less in the long run but small businesses don’t really appreciate that.
Some business customers — about 1,400 of them — of Microsoft are not accepting this and have started a petition against it. Users have also taken to Reddit and complained about Microsoft’s move.
The petition states that Microsoft has already increased the price by 15% and “adding an addition 20% on these types of SKU’s, seems almost punitive in nature.” The petition also states that monthly subscriptions have been invaluable to help with cost reduction, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the economic situation for many. In August this year, Microsoft had increased the prices of Office 365 by 15%.
A company spokesperson told CNBC in an email that “Microsoft provides flexible purchasing options to meet our customers’ diverse needs, and we don’t publicly disclose information around our premium and pricing approach for partners.”
Further, Microsoft said that it plans to introduce a monthly term option that will enable partners to provide customers with flexibility at a premium price.
In an official blog post, Microsoft had detailed how the plans would work for customers. “To accelerate adoption of the new commerce experience, Microsoft will offer two timebound promotions beginning in January 2022, available on commercial seat-based offers in new commerce: a 5% discount on annual-term offers, and monthly term offers priced the same as annual term.”