Microsoft July 2023 News

Microsoft July 2023 News: new price increases, new default Office font, and more info you need for your small business.

Microsoft 365 price increase

Microsoft will increase the cost of Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) in Canada soon. Expect the price hike as soon as September maybe as late as January 2024. Microsoft recently hiked prices in New Zealand by 6 per cent for cloud products, 9 per cent for on premises. Australians got stung for 9 per cent on both. Informed sources say Microsoft will hike prices in Canada by 6 per cent.

If you currently have monthly licenses I recommend you switch to annual if you are able before September to avoid the price hike.

More details on the Aussie Kiwi M365 price increase here.

UPDATE July 27: confirmed Microsoft will increase M365 prices September 1st by 6%. Definitely migrate to annual before then to lock in cheaper price.

Maybe 365

There’s been a ton of Microsoft 365 outages in the last few months. In Europe, construction workers cut a fiber cable bringing down M365 for Germany and surrounding countries. Microsoft inflicted some of these outages will ill-designed updates that broke Exchange Online mailboxes and SharePoint functionality.

Hackers orchestrated a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack in June that brought down 365 services and Azure cloud.

This month Chinese hackers exploited a flaw in Microsoft’s authentication token system to access U.S. government officials email accounts among others. Microsoft is being cagey about the details and the number of users affected. Given that a lot of businesses rely on Microsoft to secure their business data, you should be concerned about this security lapse.

Update July 25th: several clients seeing weird Exchange Online behavior since the hack. Emails getting bounced and weird spam. Expect more on this story in the coming months.

Farewell Calibri Hello Aptos

Microsoft changed the default font in Office products yesterday. The change will take some time to percolate to everyone’s products.

The change is from Calibri to Aptos. Microsoft previously called the font Bierstadt and it’s already in your font options.

Microsoft changed to Calibri back in 2007 due to the change from CRT to LCD monitors. The change to Aptos was prompted by Retina displays providing every higher resolution and detail.

You can see the difference below.Calibri vs Aptos

Those examples are the same point size.

The change will not affect folks who use standalone desktop versions of Office. More details on the Microsoft font change here.

Microsoft Designer

Microsoft launched a free trial of their new product Microsoft Designer. At first blush it looks like Microsoft is going after Canva’s business. However I think that Designer will replace the Office desktop app Publisher. Microsoft is desperately trying to replace desktop only apps like Publisher and Access.

You can access the free trial of Designer here. Microsoft Designer

Microsoft Access

Microsoft really wants folks to stop using Access their desktop database program. For several years one of the upgrade paths was for programmer to convert the database and move it up to SharePoint. Microsoft has shut down that option. Now the upgrade path is via a combination of PowerBI and the Dataverse. This combination involves multiple expensive license upgrades per user.

Microsoft is reported ready to pull the plug on Access in the next three years. If you are using an Access database for your business start planning the replacing it now.

Microsoft Office Desktop version

Microsoft reports it plans to continue offering the standalone desktop version of Office. However as part of Windows updates a few months ago if you are using an out of date version of Office desktop you will start getting nagware warnings  from Microsoft to upgrade. What does Microsoft consider out of date? All versions prior to Office 2021.