Microsoft 365 license Changes

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Microsoft recently announced it will be increasing it’s prices starting 1st March 2022, we are still waiting on the UK Market prices so while we cannot provide you with a definite new price at this time we do have the estimates based on what has been published so far…

License Current PriceEstimated March Price
Microsoft 365 Business Basic£3.80£4.50
Microsoft 365 Business Standard£9.40£9.40
Microsoft 365 Business Premium£15.10£16.60
Microsoft Exchange Online (Plan 1)£3.00£3.00
Microsoft Exchange Online (Plan 2)£6.00£6.00
Microsoft Project Plan 1£7.50£7.50
Microsoft Office 365 E3£17.60£20.20
Microsoft 365 Apps for business£7.90£9.00
Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium P1£4.50£5.17

More information can be found here:

Introducing Microsoft's New Commerce Experience.

Microsoft have also announced the New Commerce Experience (NCE) which is changing the way Microsoft 365 is licensed, this model aims to offer customers a simplified purchasing experience.

What is the New Commerce Experience (NCE)?

Currently, most businesses use seat-based subscriptions and purchase them directly from a Microsoft Partner (like ourselves) via a programme called the Cloud Solution Provider programme (CSP) or are billed directly by Microsoft.

With the New Commerce Experience, Microsoft is aiming to simplify their subscription models whilst still giving customers the flexibility to fit their licensing around fluctuating business needs. There will be two subscriptions to choose from, each with different rules, which are detailed below.

Additionally, this new model aligns the CSP programme with the rest of the Microsoft eco-system.

The new licensing options within the New Commerce Experience:

Starting from January 2022, customers will be able to purchase licenses in one of two ways:

  • Monthly Subscription
  • 12-Month Subscription

Monthly Subscription

For this subscription, the number of seats can be increased or decreased each month or terminated at the end of each month (with month-to-month commitments), allowing users to tailor their licenses to their changing business needs. This will incur a 20% price premium; due to the flexibility it provides. Price increases are not protected and will increase with price changes by Microsoft.

12-Month Subscription

The customer is committed to a 12-month subscription. Cancellation is limited to the first 72 hours of the subscription, with pro-rated billing. After this, the customer cannot cancel and is committed to the full 12-months. The number of seats cannot be decreased within the 12-month term but can be increased with pro-rated billing. Price protection from cost increases for the full 12-month term

The subscription can only be terminated after each 12-month term.

When will the New Commerce Experience be enforced?

Although the New Commerce Experience launches in January 2022, it will not be enforced until 1st March 2022. Any new subscriptions that are added on or after 1st March 2022, can only be transacted through the new model.

Can subscriptions be mixed?

Subscriptions can be mixed, meaning customers can have both monthly-term and annual subscriptions. For example, you can mix and match a core set of licenses for a longer-term and an appropriate number of seats, and have a few monthly licenses when required (however, the monthly ones will include the 20% price premium).

The below table shows the prices for taking out a NCE subscription on Month-Month terms and annual Terms, where no Month-Month price is shown these are annual subscriptions only, we have also included the estimated pricing from March 2022.

Taking out an Annual NCE subscription before March 2022 means you lock in the current price for 12 months.

LicenseCurrent NCE MonthlyCurrent NCE AnnualEstimated NCE Monthly March PriceEstimated NCE Annual March Price
Microsoft 365 Business Basic£4.56£45.60£5.40£54.00
Microsoft 365 Business Standard£9.40£112.80£11.28£112.80
Microsoft 365 Business Premium£18.12£181.20£19.90£208.38
Microsoft Exchange Online (Plan 1)N/A£36.00N/A£36.00
Microsoft Exchange Online (Plan 2)N/A£72.00N/A£72.00
Microsoft Project Plan 1N/A£90.00N/A£103.50
Microsoft Office 365 E3£21.12£211.20£24.20£242.40
Microsoft 365 Apps for business£9.48£94.80£10.90£109.20
Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium P1N/A£54.00N/A£62.10


As from 1st March 2022 you could see price increases as much as 35% by sticking to month-month subscriptions, we know this isn’t what you want to hear and it’s really not something we want to have to tell you but there are things that you can do to minimise the increases to your business.

  1. If you take out a new Annual NCE subscription before March 2022 your prices stay at the current rate for another 12 Months, this does mean you have a upfront payment for the 12 month period and the licenses cannot be decreased but it would provide you with better savings in comparison to the Month-Month Price.
  2. Take out a Annual NCE subscription for the number of users you are sure you will stay at and then use the Month-Month subscription for any users that may need to decrease over the next 12 months, doing it this way saves you from the bulk of the increase while giving you some flexibility.

What to do Next?

We will be contacting all our customers over the next couple of weeks to discuss the upcoming changes and how it affects your business.

Updated: 10/02/2022 12:49