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10 Things You Didn’t Know Windows 365 Could Do For You

Most individuals and most companies purchase Windows 365 so they can use PowerPoint, Word, and Excel – but there are plenty of other hidden treasures within the software that you can make advantageous use of. In this article, we’ll discuss ten of these hidden gems that you might want to use, so you can really maximize your use of Windows 365.

Ten undiscovered gems in Windows 365

Most subscribers to Windows 365 are unaware that the following apps are contained within the software, ready to be used at any time:

Power Automate – Power Automate can automate repetitive tasks for you, and save you tons of time. It connects to other Microsoft 365 apps and creates workflows comprised of the actions you use most frequently. it also helps to remove or lessen the high volume of human error, because the processes are all automated.

Bookings – This can be a valuable app for scheduling meetings with contacts or with your team members. Any kind of appointments can be scheduled using this app, since it sends recipients a notification to choose a time and date which is suitable for their schedule.

Planner – Among all the planning apps on the market today, Planner stands out because it’s so intuitive and easy to use. You can manage entire projects by creating a team, a list of tasks that must be accomplished, and then assigning those tasks to team members.

Yammer – This app works like Facebook for the business environment. It’s basically an internal communication platform that has a Facebook kind of feed, which is very familiar for users. It can also be integrated with Teams, so that employees can drop in and out of conversations anytime.

SharePoint – This is in essence, an Intranet for your company, being a very popular way to share web pages, resources, and news in a big way. It’s totally customizable, meaning that you can add your own color scheme and company logo. It looks somewhat like Teams, but it doesn’t really have a project work focus or involve any kind of teamwork.

PowerApps – This is an outstanding app that has become a leader in the no-code revolution sweeping the business. Your employees will have all the tools they need to create apps, and this can remove the necessity of manual data entry, while also pushing out updates to team members’ smartphones. It’s a bit like Power Automate in that it generates workflows automatically, although it’s a far more complex app.

To-Do – Everyone loves to use a to-do list in order to keep track of outstanding tasks and obligations. This app allows you to create such lists, then track and prioritize your tasks for whatever area of your business you need them. You can tell at a glance what has already been accomplished, and what is yet to be done. This app works very well with many other Microsoft 365 apps for information-sharing and updating, and it’s available on mobile and desktop platforms.

Sway – This is very much like PowerPoint lite, allowing you to create newsletters, presentations, and all kinds of other documents efficiently and rapidly. One of the great things about this app is that you can extract content from online sources, then instantly produce a professional-looking result without having to invest tons of time in it.

Stream – Anyone who likes YouTube will love working with Stream, because it’s an internal video-sharing kind of app. Using this app, you can upload, share, and produce your own video content. You can also organize that content into different channels, share it with team members, and make use of the tremendous amount of storage it comes with.

Clarity – It’s always good to know how users are accessing and making use of your website. When you know what they’re clicking on and what they’re engaging with, you can modify your website so it’s more appealing to users. Clarity provides heat maps of pages and sections where users are spending a great deal of time. It’s also capable of replaying videos of what users are doing on your website.

Using extra features in Windows 365

Most people don’t know about many of the apps and features described above, because they’re focused on using the more traditional apps provided by the product. If you’d like to know more about the apps above, or about other lesser-known features included in the software, contact us at your convenience. We have experts on hand who will be happy to explain or provide a service that will educate you and your team members.


11 Ways M365 Will Make Your Life Easier

People are always looking for ways to improve productivity in the business world, because that has a huge impact on any business’ bottom line. If you’re looking for a company to provide managed IT services for your company, you might want to find out if they use M365 in their approach to providing service. Assuming they do, you’ll be able to have much more confidence in the fact that they will be able to boost your company’s productivity.

How M365 will make life easier

Here are some of the tips that will make your life easier, by using the functionality included in M365:

  • Using smart lookup – this is an M365 feature that allows you to look up all kinds of information on your current document. Smart Lookup scans the web for information and delivers a list of useful results.
  • Use ‘tell me’ – the M365 tell me feature saves time by notifying you of the right tool that should be used for a particular situation. Type in what you’re trying to do and tell me will provide some options for how to go about it.
  • Share with collaborators – one of M365’s best features is that it allows you to easily share documents, so collaboration is a breeze. Click on the share button and then enter in an email address and you’re off to the races.
  • Restore the last copy – sometimes you change a document that you decide later is unnecessary, and in that case you’ll have the option of restoring the last saved copy. All you have to do is go into version history and click the restore button.
  • Focused inbox – this is a great way to clean up your inbox so that you’ll be able to focus on the most important messages. This works by segregating your incoming mail under two categories, those being focused and other.
  • Use SharePoint – this is a great way to collaborate on projects with other members of your team, and to share files when needed. SharePoint allows you to create a central repository for project files, so you can set up alerts to denote when changes have been made.
  • Freeze panes in Excel – anytime you’re working with a huge spreadsheet, you may want to freeze the top row so that you’ll always be able to see the headers as you scroll through the document.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts – this saves a lot of time, because it will allow you to quickly execute tasks, without ever having to do any mouse clicking. Just press the share button and enter the email to create a new document. All you have to do is press Ctrl+N, and you can see all shortcuts by selecting File, Options, and Keyboard Shortcuts.
  • Use budgeting templates – M365 provides a number of useful templates in Excel that can assist your planning and budgeting processes. You’ll be on top of your finances by tracking income and expenses.
  • Recall sent messages – If you’ve ever sent out an email and immediately wished you could take it back, this feature might be for you. As long as the recipient hasn’t opened your message yet, you’ll be able to recall any sent message by clicking on Recall and Delete Unread Messages.
  • Organized with OneNote – this is a great vehicle for organizing ideas and thoughts, and it can also be used to track project plans, meeting notes, and task lists.

Contact Us

Reach out to Terminal B today to learn more about how M365 can help your productivity.

Microsoft 365 Hacks That Will Save You Time

Microsoft 365 is a powerful service that can help you get more done. But just like anything else, getting the most out of it requires knowing how to use it properly. In this blog post, we will discuss Microsoft 365 hacks that will help you save time. Whether you are using Outlook, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, these tips will make your workday easier.

Microsoft 365 hacks for Outlook

If you are like most people, you probably spend a lot of time in your inbox. To save time, make sure to use the search function to find old emails quickly. You can also create folders and subfolders to organize your messages. And if you want to get rid of an email forever, make sure to delete it from your Trash folder as well.

M365 hacks when you are using Word

Do you spend a lot of time formatting your documents? Word has several built-in features that can save you time. You can also use the “Styles” function to quickly format your text. The “Track Changes” function will help you keep track of edits made to a document — which is particularly useful when several people are making changes to the same document.

Working on the same Word document, at the same time, will help you get faster results and encourage collaboration. You may communicate, discuss, and comment with your co-authors right inside the document. Make this possible by saving it in OneDrive. Then click “Share” to email or text them the generated URL.

Excel hacks for Microsoft 365

Are you working with large data sets in Excel? To save time, make sure to use the filter function to quickly find the information you are looking for. You can also use the “Sort” function to organize your data. And if you need to make a graph or chart, Excel has built-in features that can save you time.

Reduce the time it takes to separate the first name and last name from a column. Make a new column next to your data, then add some information. Excel will offer you a flash fill and provide you with an overview of suggestions for the remaining cells. Simply hit enter to accept the recommendations.

M365 hacks when using PowerPoint

PowerPoint has become the go-to solution for creating presentations. To save time, make sure to use the “Slide Sorter” view to quickly find the slide you are looking for. You can also use the “Notes” function to add notes to your slides. And if you need to insert a video, PowerPoint has a number of built-in features that can save you time.

On the other hand, you don’t have to settle for just PowerPoint presentations any longer. You can share your work in an interesting way thanks to the option to convert slides to video. First, choose File > Export > Create a Video. Then adjust the video settings as desired. After that, simply click “Create Video” to finish off your presentation.

The benefits of this are twofold. You can save your presentation as a high-quality video. And, your audience can watch your presentation on their own time – whether they’re at their desk or on the go.

Want to get more out of Microsoft 365?

These are just a few of the many Microsoft 365 hacks that can save you time. To get the most out of Microsoft 365, make sure to explore all of the features and functions that are available. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to work smarter and faster!

Are you ready to get started with Microsoft 365? Contact Terminal B to learn how to maximize the possibilities of installing this software at your home or business.

Microsoft Teams continues to grow

Microsoft Teams is seeing dramatic growth. Since its launch in November 2016, it has been downloaded more than 32 million times and is now used by more than 500,000 organizations worldwide.

Like Zoom, Microsoft Teams saw a surge in growth when the pandemic shutdown forced companies to adapt and employees to work remotely.

Unlike Zoom, Microsoft Teams offers a range of other collaborative features that make it a go-to for businesses, organizations and, well, teams looking to combine their skills.

This chat-based workspace brings together people, conversations, and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s built on the strength of Office 365 and allows teams to be more productive by giving them a single and secure location to access all of their team’s files and tools.

MS Teams can be a phone service alternative

Microsoft Teams phone users can make and receive calls directly from the app using their desk phone, mobile phone, or PC. This feature makes it even easier to stay connected with your team while you’re on the go.

Users can also initiate calls during a 1:1 chat session by clicking on the video or audio call button at the top of the chat window.

This feature is increasing in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down — Microsoft recently announced that approximately 80 million people worldwide are using the service.

Microsoft Teams advantages over other services

One of the things that makes Teams so popular is its ease of use. It’s simple to set up and use, and it integrates with all of the other Microsoft Office 365 apps that businesses are already using.

Another advantage of Teams is that it’s built on the same platform as Skype for Business, so there’s a lot of existing infrastructure and support for it.

Teams is also included in Office 365, so businesses that are already using Office 365 can get started without any additional investment.

Microsoft Teams includes regular updates

Microsoft Teams is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its users. Here are some of the latest updates:

  • Announcements: You can now make announcements in Microsoft Teams to share important news with your team. Announcements appear in the activity feed so everyone can see them, and you can @mention specific team members to make sure they don’t miss anything.
  • Tabs: The new Tabs feature in Microsoft Teams makes it easy to add content from your favorite apps and services, so you can have everything you need in one place. Just click the + sign to add a tab, and select from over 150 popular apps like OneNote, SharePoint, Twitter, and more.
  • Connectors: Connectors are a great way to get your team’s attention in Microsoft Teams. You can use connectors to post messages or notifications from over 200 popular services, like GitHub, Twitter, Trello, and more.

Microsoft Teams for those outside of your organization

Microsoft Teams is also introducing a new feature called Guest access, which allows people outside of your organization to be added to teams and channels. This is great for working with clients, contractors, or partners who need access to specific resources or information.

To add a guest to your team, click on the team name in the left sidebar, and then click on the “Add guest” button. You can search for the person by their name or email address, and they will receive an invitation to join the team.

To learn more about how these features can benefit your “team,” contact Terminal B for a free consultation.

What your IT professional wishes you knew about Windows 365 setup

Windows 365 can change your computing life — if it’s set up correctly across all your devices. On the other hand, mistakes made during setup prevent you from optimizing all of the program’s features and will lead to ongoing frustration. Here is what your IT professional wishes you knew about Windows 365 setup.

When it comes to setting up your Windows 365 subscription, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to get the most out of your investment.

Most people use Microsoft Office on a daily basis, whether for work or personal use. However, many people do not realize that there is more to Microsoft Office than just the basic Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications. In fact, Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service that provides users with access to a variety of different software programs and services. These include but are not limited to:

  • Exchange Online
  • SharePoint Online
  • Skype for Business Online
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Yammer

While some of these services are available for free, others require a subscription in order to be used. In addition, different subscription levels provide access to different features and services. For example, Office 365 ProPlus is the subscription that provides access to the full Microsoft Office suite of applications, while other subscriptions may only provide access to certain individual applications, such as Word or Excel.

First, you will need to decide which subscription level is right for you. As mentioned above, different subscription levels provide access to different features and services. If you are not sure which subscription would be best for you, it is always a good idea to speak with your IT professional or someone who is familiar with the Windows 365 subscription levels.

Once you have decided on the right subscription level, the next step is Windows 365 setup. The process is relatively easy and can be done by following a few simple steps.

How to set up Windows 365 on your desktop

If you have a Windows 365 subscription, you can install the Microsoft Office apps on multiple PCs, Macs, and other devices. You can also sign into certain apps to get additional features. For example, if you sign into OneDrive with your Microsoft account, you get 15 GB of free storage. To start using Office on another device, sign in with your Microsoft account to that device. Then, on the Start screen or launch screen, find and tap or click the Office app you want to use.

If you don’t already have a Microsoft account, you will need to create one. You can do this by going to the Microsoft website and following the instructions. Once you have created your account, you will then need to sign into your account on the device you want to use Office on.

After you have signed in, you will be asked to provide some basic information such as your name, country, and preferred language. After that, you will be asked to choose the apps you want to install. For most people, the basic Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps will suffice. However, if you have a specific need for another app, such as OneNote or Outlook, you can choose to install that app as well.

After you have chosen the apps you want to install, the next step is to accept the terms and conditions. Then your apps will begin installing and you will be able to start using them right away.

How to set up Windows 365 on your mobile device or tablet

To get started using Office on your cellphone, you’ll need to find and download the Office app you want to use. You can either download the new Office app the contains Word, Excel or Powerpoint or, if you are only going to be using one app, you can download that app individually. Once you launch the app, on the first screen that appears, sign in with your Microsoft account. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can create one now. After you sign in, follow the instructions that appear on your screen to finish setting up Office.

The process for setting up Office on a tablet is similar to the process for setting up Office on a mobile device.

Take the time to set up Microsoft 365 accurately the first time

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Windows 365 setup is accurate from the start. Mistakes during setup are common, but by taking the time to understand the process, you can avoid frustration and make the most of your subscription.

That’s all there is to it! By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Windows 365 experience is optimized from the start.

If you need help setting up or using Office on your devices, contact Terminal B for a smooth installation and transition.

11 M365 Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier

Make your computing life easier with these 11 M365 Tips which you can use while using Microsoft 365 for budgeting, writing, digital safety and more.

Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day? If you’re struggling to get everything done, you’re not alone. The Microsoft 365 suite of productivity apps can help lighten your load so you can focus on what’s important.

Here are 11 M365 tips that will make your life easier.

  1. Use Tell Me: The Tell Me feature in Microsoft 365 can save you time by helping you find the right tool or
    command quickly and easily. Simply type in what you want to do, and Tell Me will provide a list of options.
  2. Focused Inbox: Focused Inbox is a great way to declutter your inbox and focus on the most important messages. It works by sorting your incoming email into two tabs — Focused and Other. Email that Microsoft 365 considers important will go into the Focused tab, while the rest will be sorted into the Other tab. You can customize which emails go into each tab, and you can even turn off the Focused Inbox feature if it’s not for you.
  3. Organize notes with OneNote: OneNote is a great way to organize your thoughts and ideas, but it can also be used to keep track of thing s like meeting notes, task lists, and project plans. OneNote makes it easy to share your notes with others and collaborate on projects.
  4. Recall sent messages: Did you ever send an email and then immediately wish you could take it back? With Microsoft 365, you can recall a sent message within a few minutes of sending it, as long as the recipient hasn’t already opened it. To recall a message, go to your Sent Items folder and click the message you want to recall. Then, click Recall > Delete unread copies of this message.
  5. Use Excel’s built-in budgeting templates: Microsoft 365 comes with a number of useful templates that can help you with everything from event planning to budgeting. Excel’s budget templates can help you track your income and expenses, so you can stay on top of your finances.
  6. Use keyboard shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to save time by allowing you to quickly perform common tasks without having to use the mouse. For example, the shortcut to create a new document in Microsoft Word is Ctrl+N. To see a full list of keyboard shortcuts for the Microsoft 365 apps, go to File > Options > Keyboard Shortcuts.
  7. Share with collaborators: One of the great things about Microsoft 365 is that it makes it easy to share documents and collaborate with others. To share a document, simply click the Share button and enter the email address of the person you want to share with. You can also set permissions so that only certain people can edit or view the document.
  8. Restore last saved copy: If you accidentally make changes to a document that you later decide you don’t want, you can restore the last saved copy. To do this, go to File > Info > Version History. Then, click the Restore button next to the version of the document you want to restore.
  9. Use SharePoint: SharePoint is a great way to share files and collaborate on projects with team members. With SharePoint, you can create a central repository for all your project files, and you can even set up alerts so that you’re notified when changes are made to the files.
  10. Use Smart Lookup: Smart Lookup is a feature in Microsoft 365 that allows you to quickly look up information related to the document you’re working on. Simply select the text you want to lookup, right-click, and then click Smart Lookup. Smart Lookup will search the web for information related to the selected text and provide a list of results.
  11. Freeze panes in Excel: If you’re working with a large spreadsheet, it can be helpful to freeze the top row or left column so that you can always see the headers as you scroll. To do this, go to View > Freeze Panes. Then, select the option that best suits your needs.

By following these M365 tips, you can make your life easier and become more productive. Do you want to learn more? Contact Terminal B today to set up a consultation.

The Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service that gives users access to the latest Microsoft Office apps, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. This Guide to Microsoft 365 will help you determine if this subscription is right for you.

Subscribers can install the apps on PCs, Macs, tablets, and phones and the subscription also includes 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage and regular feature updates and upgrades. Microsoft 365 is an excellent choice for those who want the latest Microsoft Office apps and features.

How do I get started with Microsoft 365?

The first step is to sign up for a subscription. You can do this by visiting the Microsoft 365 website and selecting the plan that’s right for you. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to download and install the Microsoft Office apps on your devices.

Microsoft 365 Business plans start at $6 per user, per month for up to 300 users and include Microsoft Office apps, 1 TB of OneDrive storage, and other Microsoft services.

Once you’ve installed the apps, you can start using them to create and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.

The Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft 365 Benefits

There are many benefits of using Microsoft 365, including:

  • The latest Microsoft Office apps: With Microsoft 365, you’ll always have access to the latest versions of the Microsoft Office apps, like Word, Excel, edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
  • You can also use the service to store and share files online, using OneDrive.

Microsoft 365 is designed to be used with the latest versions of the Microsoft Office apps. If you’re using an older version of Office, you might not be able to take full advantage of all the features Microsoft 365 has to offer.

How do I use it?

Each program in Microsoft 365 has a main window in which you’ll complete the program’s main function. Each program also has a colored toolbar (also referred to as a “ribbon”) at the top of the window. This ribbon provides quick access to frequently used commands in each program. You’ll find different tab options (such as Insert, Format, etc) in the ribbon, and clicking on a tab will cause the toolbar options to change. This allows you to quickly find the commands you need without having to search through menus. The ribbon interface can take some time to get used to, but once you master it you’ll be able to work more efficiently in the various programs.

What are some additional benefits?

Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive, cloud-based solution that includes everything your business needs to stay productive and connected.

With Microsoft 365, you can access your files from anywhere, using any device. And because your data is stored in the cloud, it’s always backed up and available if you need it. Microsoft 365 also includes powerful communication tools like Microsoft Teams, which makes it easy to stay in touch with colleagues and customers.

With Microsoft 365 you get predictable monthly payments, so there are no surprise costs. And in the event of an unexpected outage or disaster, Microsoft 365 can help keep your business running with its built-in business continuity features.

How can I use Microsoft 365 to improve my productivity and work efficiency?

One of the most popular M365 products is Microsoft Teams, a messaging and collaboration platform that helps users stay in touch with their teams, co-workers, customers, and boss. Microsoft Teams offers many powerful collaboration features, including the ability to share files, create and edit documents, and schedule and conduct video meetings.
Microsoft 365 subscribers can also take advantage of Outlook, OneDrive, and Excel. Outlook is a great tool for organizing and sharing your emails, calendars, and contacts. OneDrive is a cloud storage service that makes it easy to save and share your files with coworkers. And Excel is a powerful spreadsheet application that lets you easily analyze data and create dynamic reports.

Are there any other features that I should be aware of?

  • Co-Authoring: One of the benefits is real-time co-authoring, which allows multiple users to work on the same document at the same time. This can be extremely helpful for team projects, as it allows everyone to see each other’s changes and make edits in real-time.
  • Chat: Microsoft Teams allows you to create a private chat room for your team, and Skype for Business lets you video chat with individual co-workers. You can also use the Microsoft Outlook app to send instant messages to co-workers. To get started, simply open the app and click on the “Chat” icon. Then, type in the name or email address of the person you want to chat with. You can also add emoticons and attachments to your messages.
  • Insert links: Another particularly useful feature is the ability to insert links to stored files instead of sending entire files to co-workers. This can save time and energy by avoiding the need to upload and download large files. Additionally, it can help to reduce storage requirements on both the sender and receiver’s devices. To insert a link to a stored file, simply click the ‘Insert’ tab and select ‘Link.’ Then, browse for the file you wish to share and click ‘Insert.’ The recipient of the message will then be able to click the link to access the file, without needing to download it. This simple Microsoft 365 feature can help to make working with others more efficient.
  • Create calendar events: You can also use OneNote to create calendar events. To turn a OneNote item into an Outlook calendar event, simply click the “File” tab, select “New,” and then click “Outlook Calendar Event.” A new window will open where you can enter the details of your event. Once you have entered the relevant information, click “Save.” Your event will now be added to your Outlook calendar.

If this Guide to Microsoft 365 has convinced you that a subscription is right for you, contact Terminal B today to learn more about optimizing your home and work life.

Are You Prepared for Microsoft Changes?

Early in 2021, Microsoft rocked the IT world by announcing several sweeping changes to its business model. The massive shift towards remote work caused demand for Microsoft’s cloud-based solutions to skyrocket. In just a single year, Microsoft’s annual worldwide revenue surged from $143B to over $168B.

These Microsoft update changes will affect virtually any organization that uses their products, including locally owned businesses, international enterprises, and everyone in between. Therefore, it is vital that all users are prepared for these upcoming Microsoft policy changes. Otherwise, they might quickly find themselves in a financial bind.

Below, our experts discuss each recent change in detail. We highlight how these changes will impact managed service providers and end-point users. Most importantly, we’ll provide a pragmatic solution that businesses can use to prepare for these changes.

Microsoft Recent Changes

Before an organization can appropriately prepare for Microsoft’s changes, it is important to understand what each of these policy updates is. The Microsoft recent changes are as follows:

Subscription Models for Exchange

In the past, Microsoft has offered its business clients the option to purchase Exchange or SharePoint Server solutions as a perpetual model. However, this will no longer be the case as of late 2021.

New clients will only be able to access licenses for Skype for Business Server, SharePoint Server, and Exchange Server by purchasing a subscription license.

Microsoft announced that they will cease to provide extended support for Exchange Server 2013 on April 4, 2023. They will discontinue extended support for the Enterprise Edition of Exchange Server 2016 on October 14, 2025.

While support will continue for several years for these services, organizations that still have a current licensing contract with either Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016 must begin to prepare for these changes.

As a general rule, companies that are currently using these services will need to transition their core server applications from on-site solutions to subscription-based services before Microsoft discontinues its extended support.

Failure to plan accordingly could make it difficult to keep company servers secure and functioning properly.

Stand-Alone Licensing

Power Apps are a valuable asset to businesses across the globe. This user-friendly solution allows clients to build custom apps that are designed to serve the unique needs of their businesses.

Currently, Power Apps use rights are included as part of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 free of charge. Unfortunately, Microsoft has adjusted course and will no longer offer Power Apps as a standard component of Office 365 licensing.

By year’s end, Microsoft will begin to incrementally restrict certain Power Apps entitlements. If customers want to continue to use these solutions, they will have to purchase additional licenses for the Power Apps that they’d like to use.

With this in mind, business owners will need to prepare their budgets accordingly, ensuring that they have adequate funding for the licenses required for their teams.

Year-Long Licensing Terms

Perhaps the most significant Microsoft policy change is a transition from month-to-month licensing to annual terms.

While Microsoft is not eliminating the monthly subscription model for their core suite of applications, they are going to charge as much as 35% more for businesses that choose to use this payment option. This will drive up costs significantly for many businesses.

Microsoft wants to encourage long-term commitments so that it can generate more revenue. This change will prompt businesses to purchase core licensing for the entire year instead of adding licenses as needed each month.

Elimination of the Open Licensing Program

Microsoft’s Open License program has been available to small and medium-sized businesses for years. This plan allows qualifying clients to buy perpetual software licenses at a reduced price.

However, Microsoft is eliminating this program starting on January 1, 2022. Commercial clients will not be able to purchase new licenses through the Open License program, nor will they be able to renew existing services at the reduced rates.

Currently, this update is only slated to impact businesses that have between 100 to 250 employees. But Microsoft could further modify its Open Licensing program in the future in a manner that affects large businesses, as well.

Every company that utilizes the Open Licensing program should start to plan ahead so that they can be fully prepared for any additional changes that may be on the horizon.

What These Microsoft Policy Changes Mean for SMBs

These Microsoft policy changes will impact all small to medium-sized businesses that utilize their products. This remains true whether a company purchases Microsoft services directly or acquires them through a managed service provider (MSP).

Companies that rely on MSP services might be particularly concerned about the new updates to Microsoft’s policies.

Due to Microsoft’s changes to its pricing and licensing models, MSPs may be put in a position in which they are no longer profitable. As a result, they may have to increase their prices or may even need to discontinue service for some clients.

The companies that are going to be affected by these changes must act fast to ensure that they avoid any disruptions to their licensing, as well. They should reevaluate their current licensing strategy to ensure that they are getting the most out of their Microsoft subscriptions.

Finally, providers must rethink the ways that they purchase their licenses and software so that they can get the best pricing possible, while still having the licenses necessary to get mission-critical work done.

Preparing for Microsoft Update Changes with Terminal B

If you want to make sure that your organization is fully prepared for the upcoming Microsoft changes, Terminal B can help. Our Austin, TX, firm specializes in providing customized IT support. We provide faster service, concrete technological improvements, and relevant advice to guide your decision-making processes.

Our IT experts will work with you to evaluate the needs of your business. We will help you tackle these Microsoft policy changes head-on so that you can get the software licenses you need at the best price possible. Contact us today so that we can set your business up for success!

A Complete Guide: Upcoming Changes to Microsoft 365

Microsoft Office software has gone through many generations and updates throughout the years, but big ones are happening this year and next. Find out how the one-time purchase 2021 version of Microsoft Office differs from previous versions and how the Office 365 price increase may affect you in 2022.

Microsoft Office 365 Price Increase

The Microsoft team announced on August 19, 2021, that there would be price increases for Office 365 in addition to a name change to Microsoft 365. There haven’t been any significant upgrades in pricing in 10 years, so the company has been careful to explain all the key features, developments, and deliverables to reflect this change.

The current Office Suite includes 24 apps, accessible as a subscription-based service (Microsoft 365) or as a one-time purchase, known as Office 365. 

Call now to talk to one of our M365 experts!

Price Increase in 2022

While the Microsoft 365 price increase isn’t a major one, it affects its range of commercial products. Here are some price changes you can expect to see starting March 1, 2022.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: 15-20% increase
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: 10% increase
  • Office 365 E1: 25% increase
  • Office 365 E3: 15% increase
  • Office 365 E5: 5-10% increase
  • Microsoft 365 E3: 10-15% increase

These are the global price changes for commercial products. Microsoft has announced that there won’t be any changes to consumer or education products and that local market adjustments may affect these prices in different regions.

Why Microsoft 365 Prices Are Increasing

Microsoft identifies three areas of improvements that prompted the price increases: 

  • Automation
  • Communications and Collaboration
  • Security and Compliance

These three changes add value for all commercial users, and increased value means increased cost. Whether you choose to use the new collaboration functionality or enjoy the improved safety features, you’re accessing innovative tools that Microsoft has specially crafted with their customers’ needs in mind.

Changes to Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 currently has over 300 million paid seats for its commercial product. Both Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams were introduced four years ago to streamline workflow for businesses. In its press release about the upcoming changes, Microsoft highlighted three main pillars:

AI-Enhanced Productivity

Modern AI capabilities have dramatically improved over the past decade, whether you’re creating maps, sorting emails, organizing tables, or transcribing videos. These features help you achieve your goals in less time and with fewer tedious tasks.

Improved Security and Compliance Features

Across industries, businesses need to remain safe and comply with various regulations. For example, the medical field is preoccupied with the HIPAA Security Rule when it comes to collaborative technology. Data loss prevention, message encryption, mobile data management, and other powerful features are ubiquitous technology needs that help you stay up-to-date with the latest security. 

Microsoft 365 is aware that your business is at risk if personal health information, data storage, and safety features fail to meet the minimum compliance standards. They have continually adjusted security measures and capabilities to comply with regulations, reduce the risk for your organization, and beat cybercriminals. 

Dynamic Communication and Collaboration

Microsoft Teams is the cornerstone of collaboration in the Office suite. There are many more collaborative applications you can take advantage of, however, including the following:

  • SharePoint
  • Planner
  • Power Platform
  • Forms
  • Shifts

How This Affects Small Businesses and MSPs

Both small businesses and managed service providers, or MSPs, will be particularly affected by these changes. There are two key ways that these changes will affect these organizations:

  1. Cost may become a limiting factor.
  2. Enhanced features will be available.

Even these small increases in Microsoft 365 are significant for small business owners and MSPs. The cost can add up if you’re signing up dozens or hundreds of commercial users.

Both small businesses and MSPs, however, will benefit from the enhanced features. The AI integration and collaborative tools alone could create the workplace efficiency needed to cover the cost, and greater levels of security help businesses stay compliant.

Office 365 Versus Microsoft 365

Another significant change besides the Microsoft 365 price increase is the introduction of flat pricing. Microsoft has been using both Office 365 and Microsoft 365 names to describe the same subscription-based bundle of tools, but now they’re rebranding the service. Office 365 is available as a one-time purchase as of October 5, 2021, while Microsoft 365 will remain the cloud-based subscription service.

One-Time Purchase vs. Cloud-Based Approach

Office 365 is a one-time purchase that offers a Long Term Servicing Channel, or LTSC, option for commercial users, as well as a personal use option.

The cloud-based version, even with the increased pricing, may be more beneficial for some users. Choosing the subscription approach ensures you always have the latest version, including the latest safety features. It will continue to update to work with newer versions of Windows and includes a whole host of features.

Choose Office 365 if you’re looking for a more affordable approach that doesn’t require continual payments. If your organization only uses a limited range of tools and features, Office 365 may be a more affordable solution than Microsoft 365.

Find Out How the Changes Will Affect Your Business

From the Office 365 price increase to the enhanced compliance and collaboration tools, there are a lot of changes occurring in 2021 and 2022 for your company. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the latest features of Microsoft 365, or want to learn more about the pros and cons of both models, contact us at Terminal B for more information.

Microsoft 365 update channels: What you need to know

Many businesses using Microsoft 365 prefer to have the latest versions of the productivity suite’s applications. Some businesses prefer to get updates as soon as they become available, while others prefer to update their systems on a predictable schedule. Fortunately, Microsoft’s update channels enable businesses to customize when they receive apps’ new features.

New update channel: Microsoft Enterprise Channel

The new Microsoft Enterprise Channel is for organizations that prefer to get updates on a predictable schedule. With this update channel, users can receive new features and patches on the second Tuesday of every month, which Microsoft famously calls Patch Tuesdays.

This update channel is ideal for companies with IT departments that want to reduce the burden of updating systems at irregular intervals. This will allow them to have a fixed schedule of downloading the latest productivity features, system improvements, and essential security patches.

Recommended update channel: Current Channel

Current Channel is great for companies that want to receive feature updates as soon as they become available. New Office features are released at least two or three times a month, so those that choose Current Channel will get them immediately.

The same applies to non-security updates such as reliability and performance improvements, which are also released two to three times a month. As standard, security updates will be released on Patch Tuesdays, and are therefore released on a fixed schedule.

Those who are only about to install Microsoft 365 apps will be on Current Channel by default. That means they’ll get feature updates, security updates, quality updates, and bug fixes whenever they’re ready, and can expect to receive two to three updates every month.

Option for less frequent updates: Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel

This option is for organizations that require a longer period to receive new features. This especially applies to those that use devices that must undergo extensive testing before receiving new features, perhaps to comply with governmental and regulatory authorities or for other unique reasons.

Under this update channel, organizations receive feature updates twice annually: in January and July, on the second Tuesday of the month. Security updates are still sent once a month, on Patch Tuesdays, similar to Microsoft Enterprise Channel and Current Channel.

Updates to existing update channels

Another important change is the new names of the Microsoft 365 update channels. Organizations can choose from the following options: Current, Monthly, or Semi-Annual (formerly Insider, Monthly, and Semi-Annual). In addition, testing channels previously labeled Targeted have been renamed Preview.

It’s important to select the right update channel for your organization to keep system updates streamlined and IT workflows uninterrupted. Choosing an update channel also depends on the user preferences of your business — whether they’d rather use the latest versions of their apps or would be fine to wait — as well as your business’s rules on compliance.

To learn more about Microsoft’s update channels, specifically, how to know which one’s best for your company and how to optimize your productivity apps, call our IT and software experts today.

Published with permission from Source.
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