Just when you thought you had got your head around how Microsoft 365 billing works, it turns out that they had another trick up their sleeves.

You may recall that Microsoft brought in a new way of billing for 365 subscriptions called NCE (new commerce experience) in 2022.  There was a push towards an annual commitment in return for better pricing but many users opted to stay on the more flexible monthly billing, known as legacy pricing, until their price protection period expired.

If you were buying a new subscription, of course, the legacy rates were no longer available to you.  You will automatically be purchasing NCE arrangements.  The warning in the next part of this blog is for pre-2022 licence users.

In January 2024 Microsoft changed the rules.  Legacy licences are being automatically converted to NCE annual/monthly pricing when they reach their price protection end date.  This would mean that you would not be able to cancel any licences during the year, although you can add licences.  This is the worst option as it removes flexibility but does not reward you for making an annual commitment.

When a new NCE subscription is set up, you have 7 days to change your mind.  Otherwise, you are committed to the arrangement for a full year.  When this is done automatically, you might not be aware in time to adjust it to your preferred settings, so it is very important to be aware of your price protection end date so that you can control your licensing.  To add to the fun, if you have more than one subscription type, they could well have different end dates.

What are your NCE options?

NCE comes in 3 flavours:

NCE Monthly/Monthly: you can add and remove users whenever you wish.  There is obviously a premium for this option.

NCE Annual/Monthly: you make a commitment to pay for a set number of users which can only be cancelled at the anniversary of the arrangement.  You can add users whenever you like, however.  The commitment is yearly but the payment cycle is monthly, at a lower rate than Monthly/Monthly.

NCE Annual/Annual as with Annual/Monthly, you commit to a given number of licences which can be increased but not reduced except on the anniversary.  The difference with Annual/Annual is that you pay for the whole year up front.  The reward for selecting this option is that you get 12 months for the price of 10.

Confused?  This is where your trusted IT adviser will earn their money. 

When your Microsoft subscriptions are managed by Computer Troubleshooters, they will be monitored and you will be advised when changes are imminent, giving you information about your options so that you can make an informed choice.

As for Microsoft NCE pricing, legacy subscriptions will be history by January 2025; who knows what new approaches could be in the pipeline next.  Watch this space. 

To coin a phrase in the manner of Kenneth Wolstenholme’s immortal World Cup commentary:

They think it’s all over … it is FOR NOW!

Contact Suzanne at Computer Troubleshooters on 01732 300064