back to article Microsoft hikes prices for non-profit customers, ends on-prem software grants

Microsoft has hiked the price of Office 365 and Windows 365 versions it offers to non-profit customers, effective September 1, 2022. News of the price increase appeared in a March 29 update to a Partner Center page on which Microsoft posts rolling announcements of offers and pricing changes. The price rises are as follows: …

  1. jeff_w87

    Monkey see, Monkey do

    Our competitors raised their prices so we're raising ours - got to think of the shareholders!

    1. Screepy

      Re: Monkey see, Monkey do

      Non-profit sys eng here - although I'm disappointed to see price increases I am slightly less peeved at MS who have at least given us a few months to plan on where we can raise the funds to cover the difference or at worst cut back on some services. AWS on the other hand adjusted their NFP pricing models in the background and gave us a disappointing surprise when they hit

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Monkey see, Monkey do

        >MS who have at least given us a few months to plan

        Bit behind the times, you should of been planning some months back, as you've missed the end of March cut off date for the old on-prem grants...

    2. Plest Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Monkey see, Monkey do

      I hope so, one of my pension funds is invested in MS!

  2. trindflo Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    well yes, but...

    I really hate to feel in the position of defending Microsoft, but the E3 edition with the price increases are (US$) 23 for commercial and 5.75 for non-profits. Exactly 1/4 the cost for non-profits. Previously they were 20 and 4.50 - exactly half-way between 1/4 and 1/5 the cost. While the article is telling the truth, expressing the numbers the way the article has strikes me as trying to stir up a tempest in a teapot.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: well yes, but...

      Plus, of course, Microsoft are not obliged to provide the non-profit discounts at all. They just figure that doing so will boost sales of the commercial versions as people get used to using them.

      I've recently set up a non-profit using it and the cost vs on-prem means the break-even point would be >5 years, at which point the on-prem server would probably need replacing anyway. In this instance, cloud is both cheaper and more flexible for them; in other cases it doesn't work that way and depending on requirements the cloud solution may or may not be better.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: well yes, but...

        Not obliged but probably in their interest too as you say, there is no way the non profits I’ve seen would be able to afford things like SQLserver or exchange without it. Microsoft’s problem may end up being that non profits often can’t absorb these increases as easily as commercial organisations as they often run on a shoe string. I’ve already been asked by a local one for options for their 25 users.

        I’ve also never met a non profit that keeps a server less than 5 years so I’m guessing you’ve worked with much bigger ones!

        1. Robert Grant Silver badge

          Re: well yes, but...

          Using SQL Server as a nonprofit is probably a mistake.

          1. Lee D

            Re: well yes, but...

            "Using SQL Server as a nonprofit is probably a mistake."

            Every single school in the country.

            Granted, they've moved towards hosted web versions, but pretty much every school MIS is ultimately SQL server on the backend, as well as most of the financial systems.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: well yes, but...

          >I’ve also never met a non profit that keeps a server less than 5 years so I’m guessing you’ve worked with much bigger ones!

          The NFP clients of mine (sub 50 users) are looking to migrate from WS 2012R2 & Exchange 2013 all on hardware that is at least 7 years old.

          interestingly, moving to MS365 creates a whole host of new problems; none of the small IT Support businesses that grew up with SBS that I've had dealings with have any real understanding of MS 365 and cloud - WS2012 was probably at the limit of their comprehension.

          1. Dimmer

            Re: well yes, but...

            Guys

            Please keep in mind schools, and nonprofit groups when you decommission your equipment. As a Datacenter and support org we run across the equipment they can use. Sometimes due to politics/ grant/ stupidity some nonprofits can’t use the equipment openly. If so, the way to support your local tech is to donate under the guise of test / training / parts. Don’t forget the nv ram in the routers and switches when your cleaning data.

      2. badflorist

        Re: well yes, but...

        "Plus, of course, Microsoft are not obliged"

        They absolutely are and that view is exactly what hobbled them, Internet Explorer? Mobile? Even streaming media they lost.

        In this exact case, as soon as anyone else comes along with "free" things and those free things become popular they're in trouble. Essentially, Microsoft is 1 popularized containerized stack away from irrelevancy with all things except OS.

        Squeezing blood from places they don't need to at all.... Microsoft is trash.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: well yes, but...

        or maybe these prices are to keep the non-profits from going to open source products as has been the case over and over. We even saw it in school systems across the US when Microsoft was attacking them for some apps being unlicensed and school systems started switching to OpenOffice and even switching to Linux. Microsoft backed down and gave them lower pricing to keep them on Windows.

        Any org cash strapped is going to look away from Microsoft unless they drastically drop their prices.

        1. Screepy

          Re: well yes, but...

          I work for a large non-profit (+-2500 employees) and we'd be dead in the water if we had to pay commercial licensing fees. Our SQL instances alone would be enough to sink us if we had to pay full price.

          We're an old organisation (+100 years) and when IT became a thing we were pretty good at getting on board with the tech. I wasn't around then but at the time MS and in particular MS SQL was the way to go for our org. Fast forward many years and we've pretty much trapped ourselves as an MS house. Now all MS have to do is charge us just enough to not cripple us and we'll stay.

          On a side note, another reason the big corps like to attract NFP's (particularly the bigger more well known ones) is that it's good for PR. Whichever big cloudy company we've dealt with we usually get a friendly email at some point asking if they can use our logo on some presentation they're doing.

          1. Snowy Silver badge
            Megaphone

            Re: well yes, but...

            <quote> Whichever big cloudy company we've dealt with we usually get a friendly email at some point asking if they can use our logo on some presentation they're doing.</quote>

            I hope they pay to do so as your a paying customer, so if they want good PR from that they should also pay for it!

            1. Screepy

              Re: well yes, but...

              "I hope they pay to do so as your a paying customer, so if they want good PR from that they should also pay for it!"

              No, it's very rarely a payment, more usually an offer of greater discounts the following year or a load of training vouchers for the Tech teams (which can be very useful)

              However, there are very very few requests we can say yes to as the charities remit and reputation means that it is quite tricky for us to align things with big corp.

              Thankfully that's up to to our legal/pr/procurement teams to iron out ;) I just go on a nice MS course if they happen to tick all the boxes :)

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: well yes, but...

          >or maybe these prices are to keep the non-profits from going to open source products

          In many cases they don't need to do that, brain dead existing customers are doing just fine. For example the NHS insists on forcing Teams on everyone: partner with the NHS and you have to use Teams, Onedrive etc.

          They can't use Zoom, which is causing problems with patients as all video appointments have to be via Teams - they even expect someone in their 80's who has had a stroke master the technical details necessary to set up Teams so that they can attend an appointment with their consultant...

          And I mean technical details not just click on this link, like they've been doing with Zoom...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: well yes, but...

            My wife provides mental health counselling via video calls and they don't use Teams. My in-laws have attended consultant meetings via video and they don't use Teams. In all cases, it has been via a website. You go to the URL and use the credentials provided to you in the letter sent to the patient's address.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: well yes, but...

              Okay, so its probably just my local NHS trust that has a daft policy.

  3. Joe W Silver badge
    Pint

    "added 24 new apps and more than 1,400 features."

    Well... the apps are not that interesting (I do not like teams, had a few calls with some international colleagues and it was a mess - there used to be a reliable and light weight program called Skype, but after the new owners messed it up it is neither leight weight nor reliable (nor good) - and the 1400 features are the hotkeys they keep constantly chainging and the hiding of them (they used to be visible in the menues - alas no longer)....

    bitter? me? Yeah, I'll have one -->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "added 24 new apps and more than 1,400 features."

      those are management hotkeys not for employee use

    2. Sub 20 Pilot

      Re: "added 24 new apps and more than 1,400 features."

      I have used Star Office then Open Office then Libre Office for over 20 years with no problems. Only MS 'app' I have to use is Teams and it is fucking shit. Endless problems starting and running it with random errors and a fan running flat out the whole time it was on or trying to work. And this is on a laptop running an OS by the fuckers that wrote the bloody thing.

      I installed and ran on it a cheap Chinese Android phone within about 2 minutes and it works perfectly. So much for cohesion within Microsoft.

      I do some consultancy work for a big outfit that demands the use of O365 or whatever it is called this week. I pick up the relevant documents via RDP, work on them in Libre Office then save in the rubbish MS file format before uploading.

      1400 ''features'' but millions of unpatched bugs. Software companies need to understand that moving shit around and calling it a 'feature' is the exact reason why people do not want a subscription model.

      Please, give me a working utility and keep it working. Don't change stuff for no reason and don't fill it with unneccessary shite. Do this and I will happily pay a reasonable subscription.

    3. Plest Silver badge

      Re: "added 24 new apps and more than 1,400 features."

      Nope, hated Skype, it caused no end of issues in our shop and the support couldn't wait to be shot of Skype and Webex. Been using Teams for chat for last 2 years WFH on company laptop and not had a single blip out of it. Teams is find for chatting and sending silly GIFs but outside that the rest of it's features are a steaming pile of crap, that I will admit.

  4. Not from here

    I could think of another industry/business model where the first hit is basically free. Once you're hooked WHAMO !!!

  5. 43300

    The main aim here is clearly to push non-profits onto their cloudy services by making the on-prem licensing prohibitively expenses.

    In reality the on-prem grants at very low pricing have only generally been of use to small non-profits for a couple of years, since they removed all the higher options from the scheme (basicaly the pro versions of everything server-side, Office Pro+, SQL Server per-core).

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Yes, MS have been playing games with the grants.

      In March they still had a reasonable grant for on-prem Exchange 2019, only the only on-prem server with a reasonable grant was 2022, with no downgrade rights; only problem MS haven't given any commitment to supporting the use of Exchange 2019 on WS2022...

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    This is the right time to update our pricing. Although there are still questions and uncertainty, we see clear signs of economic recovery around the world. Moreover, over the past few years our competitors have increased prices, in some cases aggressively. We simply have a better story and proven track record of reinvestment in the product and consistently delivering new value to our customers.

    Because we can.

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      At Doctor Syntax...

      "Because we've got you by the balls & fuck you. Muh Hahahahahahaha!"

      There, fixed that for you. =-/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: At Doctor Syntax...

        Ah, it finally makes sense

        1. Collect underpants

        2. Squeeze balls painfully

        3. Profit

  7. Ashto5

    Wow just wow

    It’s like not even a coffee

    Jeez get over it

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    over the past few years our competitors have increased prices, in some cases aggressively

    Yes, I was pretty gutted when Libre Office increased their prices from £0.00 to £0.00, the aggressive bastards. That's an increase of infinity percent!

    And what's this excuse about your competitors raising prices anyway, I thought you were just meant to simply compete on price, not announce that because others have increased prices that you feel you're able to get away with doing the same. With hundreds of millions of users, the cost of all these extra features per user is going to be so small as to be barely noticeable (it's called an economy of scale), just admit that you're doing it to keep the profits increasing in order to satisfy the stock market gods and you might get a reputation for being slightly less weaselly.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: over the past few years our competitors have increased prices, in some cases aggressively

      Technically, it's an increase of NaN percent.

  9. Roland6 Silver badge

    "Screw the customer" MS...

    >This is the right time to update our pricing. Although there are still questions and uncertainty, we see clear signs of economic recovery around the world. Moreover, over the past few years our competitors have increased prices, in some cases aggressively. We simply have a better story and proven track record of reinvestment in the product and consistently delivering new value to our customers.

    So MS are justifying their price increase by implying that to remain competitive they also need to 'aggressively' increase prices. Even though they have a better story and track record of reinvestment at a lower price than their competitors. I suggest this is a clear message that MS have switched from being price competitive to gouging their customers and users.

    Finally, just because there are signs of economic recovery, doesn't mean you customers, especially the third-sector customers who are the customers here, are flushed with cash, or have MS switched to a use now and pay if/when you've benefited from the "economic recovery"?

  10. Kev99 Silver badge

    Check out TechSoup and compare pricing.

  11. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Happy

    Sounds familiar

    "Although there are still questions and uncertainty, we see clear signs of economic recovery around the world."

    That sounds very Magrathean, don't you think?

  12. Plest Silver badge
    Gimp

    Don't use MS software, hang on...

    Oh wait, the problem is middle management in every company that are so far MS's arse and incapable of even considering the concept of any other company on the planet making any sort of software, that they simply keep dribbling on the MS ballgag asking for a bigger and bigger spanking each year when license negotiations come up!

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