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FAQs About Microsoft Seat-Based Licensing Changes – Tech Tip For January 19, 2022


Happy third week of 2022! We are continuing our coverage of Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE) which officially rolled out on January 10th. This week we will cover some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Before we get started with the FAQs, here’s a recap of the changes included in the NCE program:

To recap, the NCE program includes the following changes:

While specifics of the NCE program may change, overall the NCE rollout includes the following:

  1. A price increase on many seat-based cloud licenses including some Office 365 and Microsoft 365 SKUs.
  2. An enforcement of licensing terms – 30-day (month-to-month), 12-month and potentially 36-month agreements.
  3. A price premium for 30-day (or month-to-month) licenses.
  4. An offer to maintain current pricing by signing a 12 month agreement by February 28th, 2022. This date could be extended.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Q: How can my business best plan for the move to NCE?
    1. A: Set up a meeting with your licensing provider to walk through what you currently have. Prior to that meeting, think about the your business over the next 12 months. Is your business likely to remain stable with same number of employees or grow? Are you thinking of downsizing your business or maybe divesting part of your business? Your business plans should be the critical piece of information determining your licensing agreement choices moving forward.
  2. Q: When should my business consider a monthly agreement vs. an annual agreement?
    1. A: There are a few scenarios where the flexibility of a monthly agreement outweighs the increased costs. Consider a monthly agreement if you expect your business to downsize significantly during the year, if you expect to be acquired and don’t want the liability of annual agreement to contend with during the M&A process or if you plan on splitting your business into multiple smaller entities.
  3. Q: Can I have both a monthly agreement and an annual agreement?
    1. A: Yes you can. Consider using multiple agreement types when you need additional staff for a few months (a seasonal business, for example). Monthly agreements are also useful if you are testing out the usefulness of new features or an upgraded license.
  4. Q: When can additional licenses be added or removed?
    1. A: You can add licenses to a subscription at any time. You can remove licenses within the first 72 hours of a subscription being deployed or at subscription renewal.

If you have additional questions about NCE or Microsoft 365, please contact us.

Important Microsoft Announcements:

  • Microsoft will be rolling out price increases for seat based CSP licensing (Microsoft 365, Office 365) starting in January 2022. In addition, they will be introducing annual and potentially 3-year licensing agreements. The pricing changes will substantially increase the price for month to month CSP agreements. Please contact us at  gettechwise@techwisegroup.com to understand how you can minimize the impact of the upcoming price increases.
  • Microsoft will begin the rollout of Windows 11 through Windows Update as an update to Windows 10 machines starting on October 5, 2021. This update can be postponed. If you need assistance with controlling the rollout of Windows 11 to your organization, please contact TechWise Group or your IT department.
  • Starting November 1, 2021, the following versions of Outlook for Windows, as part of Office and Microsoft 365 Apps, will not be able to connect with Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services:

Office 2013

5.0.4970.9999 and older


Office 2016

6.0.4599.9999 and older


Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise (formerly Office 365 ProPlus)

705 and older


Microsoft 365 Apps for business (formerly Office 365 Business)

705 and older


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