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Microsoft loosens strings on Office 365, drops kimono on upgrade options

Family switch plan promised

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Microsoft has unveiled the first in a series of planned updates to its Office 365 licensing plans for potentially easier upgrades.

The Office 365 blog has outlined the options, announced at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in July as “transition SKUs”, for users to upgrade.

The Switch plans come with certain restrictions – you can’t upgrade from a small business to an enterprise subscription plan, for example.

However, Microsoft’s promised more options “later this year” that will let you move across the plan families.

The promised new plans will let businesses move from small business to mid and enterprise plans, and midsize businesses upgrade to enterprise.

The changes are being rolled out to make it easier for customers to move, and thereby remove a potential barrier to consuming fatter Office 365 licences.

Until now, you had to manually reassign user licences and phone the Office 365 support line to cancel the old subscription. Now you should be able to upgrade using a link, which means busy tech leads can use an automated self-service.

There was no word from Microsoft on “upgrade SKUs,” supposed to smooth the switch between on-premises versions of Office and Office 365.

The upgrade SKUs were revealed to The Reg in July, when Microsoft’s director of partner strategy and programs for small and mid-market partners and solutions spilled the beans. ®

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