Microsoft has changed some key dates related to the ongoing adoption of its New Commerce Experience for Microsoft 365 and other popular software packages and unveiled some new offerings for partners related to Defender for Business and Windows.
The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant has pushed back the date when legacy subscriptions for Microsoft 365 and other popular packages have to be bought through the New Commerce Experience and indefinitely delayed the final phase of its plan for moving Azure purchases to NCE.
The company also previewed an upcoming standalone version of its Microsoft Defender for Business endpoint security service and an Autopatch tool to keep various products up to date and announced an annual commitment now available for Windows 365.
The changes were posted on the Microsoft Partner Center portal on Friday.
New Commerce Experience has come with a series of controversial changes to the partner program this year.
Among the most controversial changes is a 20 percent premium on month-to-month commitments to Microsoft 365 – which includes Word, Excel, Teams, SharePoint and other popular Microsoft applications – and other software packages. Other changes include not allowing customers to change partners once locked into a contract and not allowing partners to change distributors once locked into a contract.
Partners have told CRN that they believe the 20 percent month-to-month premium will push customers to annual commitments, which could leave partners footing the bill if a customer needs fewer seats or goes out of business before the end of the commitment.
The 20 percent premium is on top of overall price increases Microsoft has initiated this year. Price increases were even imposed on products aimed at nonprofits, which has led at least one investment bank to wonder if the company will see a deceleration in seat growth due to dominating the market in productivity apps.
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