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Microsoft 365 is about to get up to 25% more expensive -- is this the lift Google Workspaces finally needs?

Google has work to do to make hay from the cost increase...

Microsoft 365 is about to get up to 25% more expensive for enterprise users, with prices rising across the board from March 1, 2022 -- but Redmond aims to take the sting out of the tail of the inflation with unlimited dial-in capabilities for Microsoft Teams meetings across enterprise, business, frontline, and government suites.

Prices will rise from $5 to $6 per user for "Business Basic"; from $8 to $10 for Office 365 E1; from $20 to $23 for Office 365 E3; from $35 to $38 for Office 365 E5; and from from $32 to $36 for Microsoft 365 E3.

(UK prices have yet to be released.)

Describing it as the "first substantive pricing update since we launched Office 365 a decade ago", Microsoft said it had since released over 1,400 new features and capabilities to the enterprise software since its initial release, pointing to "deep integrations with Power Platform, Whiteboard, Lists, Planner, Shifts, Forms, and SharePoint. Companies like Adobe, Atlassian, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, and Workday have built apps that deeply integrate with Teams, bringing business processes and functions directly into the flow of work."

(UK Office 365 prices also went up 22% in 2017, The Stack recalls.)

The pricing shift seems unlikely to trigger an exodus of Microsoft 365 customers.

Google has been making a major effort to make its G-Suite portfolion of applications -- rebranded "Workspaces" in October 2020 -- more enterprise-ready however, launching "Spaces" (a Slack/Teams equivalent) in June 2021, improved client-side encryption and adding retention policies for X sensitivity levels across Drive.

Workspaces as of June 2021 lets enterprise users pick an encryption key access service partner: Flowcrypt, Futurex, Thales, or Virtru for key management and access control capabilities that gives access to  encrypted Google Workspace files. Google has promised to BYOK via key access service API specifications that can be used with client-side encryption "later this year" -- The Stack will be chasing for an update.