The company is lowering, effective immediately, "most" of its Office 365 for enterprise plans by 20 percent, according to an Office 365 blog post. The changes are available for both new and renewing direct customers.
Here's a chart, courtesy of one of Microsoft's partners, that spells out the new pricing in a nice, understandable format. It looks like some prices were cut more than 20 percent; others were slightly less than 20 percent, based on this information:
Microsoft officials are attributing the cuts to economies of scale and skills among its datacenters, developers and support personnel.
Microsoft rolled out Office 365 in late June 2011. At that time, Microsoft announced a number of different plans at different price points. The core Office 365 offering includes Microsoft-hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Lync, supplemented by Webified versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote (known together as Office Web Apps). Office 365 E3 and E4 plan customers get local copies of Office 2010 Professional Plus included as part of their subscription fees. Other users have the option of adding subscriptions for Office 2010 Professional Plus to their plans.
P1, the small business plan, is still $6 per user per month. Kiosk worker plans (K plans) also were cut by 20 percent.
Microsoft officials have said the vast majority -- 90 percent or so -- of early Office 365 sales were to small businesses, which weren't really well served by Office 365's predecessor, Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Officials have denied that Office 365 failing to gain traction with enterprise users, who are the focus of today's price cuts.