Microsoft acknowledges price increases coming for Office 2019 and Windows 10 Enterprise users

Microsoft will be making some pricing and naming changes as of its October 2018 price list that will affect some Windows 10 and Office 2019 customers. Here's what's in store.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has price increases in store for some of its Office and Windows customers as of October 1, 2018.

In a July 25 blog post, Microsoft officials acknowledged the coming increases.

Office 2019, the next on-premises version of Office clients and servers which Microsoft is currently testing ahead of its launch later this year, will see increases of 10 percent over current on-premises pricing. This price increase is for commercial (business) customers and will affect Office client, Enterprise Client Access License (CAL), Core CAL and server products, officials said.

Also: What is Microsoft 365? Microsoft's most important subscription bundle, explained

Microsoft also is rejiggering how it refers to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and related pricing.

As of October, Microsoft will be using the E3 name for the per-user version (not the per-device one). Windows 10 Enterprise E3 per User will be rechristened "Windows 10 Enterprise E3." And the current Windows 10 Enterprise E3 per Device will be renamed "Windows 10 Enterprise."

According to Microsoft's blog post, the price of Windows 10 Enterprise will be raised to match the price of Windows 10 Enterprise E3. Windows 10 Enterprise E3 costs $84 per user per year. Microsoft also is discontinuing Windows 10 Enterprise E5 per device as of October 1, 2018. Only the per user version will remain, which costs $14 per user per month, or $168 per user per year.

Based on Microsoft's blog post, I don't think the naming of Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 or E5 will be impacted. I've asked if there will be any price increases; no word back yet. Update: A company spokesperson said the company had no comment on whether this means price increases for Microsoft 365.

Microsoft originally introduced Windows 10 Enterprise subscription plans (E3 and E5) at its worldwide partner conference in 2016. Microsoft's plan then was to use these subscription bundles to try to win over more small-and-midsize (SMB) customers.

Microsoft officials said in today's blog post that the changes are meant to create more consistency and transparency across purchasing channels. Other changes that will be on the October price list:

  • Establishment of a single, consistent starting price across all programs aligned to web direct for online services (OLS)
  • Removal of the programmatic volume discounts (Level A and Open Level C) in Enterprise Agreement (EA)/EA Subscription, MPSA, Select/ Select Plus, and Open programs (Open, Open Value, Open Value Subscription)
  • Alignment of government pricing for on-premises and online services to the lowest commercial price in EA/EAS, MPSA, Select Plus, and Open Programs
  • Delivery of a newly designed Customer Price Sheet that better outlines how a customer's price was derived (direct EA/EAS only)

Microsoft told its reseller partners at its recent Inspire partner conference that it was moving toward the goal of providing "one consistent set of offers, supported by a Modern Commerce platform" in this coming fiscal year. (New buzzword of the year nomination by me: Modern!)

By updating discounting policies meant to sell software at scale, Microsoft officials said they will no longer be "incentivizing them (customers) to standardize unnecessarily on software."

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