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Office 365 Goes South, Price Goes Down

Last week Office 365 want down for only three or so hours. But that is nearly half a work day (at least back when we all only worked eight hours). Microsoft feels Office 365 customers' pain and is kicking back 25 percent of the August bill.

That seems, on the surface, generous, but some simple math tells a different story. Small customers pay $72 a user per year. Divide by 12 and you get $6 a month. Twenty-five percent of that is a dollar and a half. Would you be happy saving $1.50 for having your users offline for 3 hours? If so, those workers need to be fired tout de suite.

What is your take? Does my fifth-grade math make sense or do your greater skills tell a different story? You tell me at

Also, if you have cloud services, how did you adjust your WAN to handle the traffic and keep performance up? Answers to those also welcome at

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/22/2011 at 1:18 PM

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Aug 23, 2011

Sounds like a good reason to not put basic OA applications anywhere but the box in front of the worker. The LAN, the WAN, and the cloud can all go down, and I can still get SOME work done.

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 Dan Iowa

James already pointed out the flaw in your math, so I won't repeat that. My question would be, if a three hour work stoppage is equal to 3 hours of zero productivity, why are you putting your office worker on a public cloud without addressing the inevitable downtime. Keep in mind that a simple internet outage would put that worker out of commission, and you probably aren't going to get a refund of anything for that. I realize it is hip to be cloud these days, the cloud provider is just providing a service. They aren't accepting responsibility for productivity interruptions that result from your lack of planning.

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 George Netherlands

Your math skills rock, but using cloud services is not the same as taking out an insurance against productivity loss. Lost productivity due to any mishap, internal or external, is a business risk. Cloud services may be used to redure the (perceived) risk of on-premise servers/services, but are not without their own.

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 James McCall US Army Germany

The math is correct, but divide the number by 22.5 for the number of work days per month and you get 25 cents. Microsoft is giving them 6 days refund for a half day of loss. That is a pretty good deal. It doesn't equal the lost productivity from a three hour work stoppage (although they probably worked on other things) but it is still a good gesture.

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 rick

You have a good point, Doug. "Office" users are indeed high-value workers, or should be. As such they are worth a lot more than the software value. That said, software licenses have never considered "lost time" to be included in any warrenty. If that were so, every time a productivity program fouled up, the software company would be liable. Your point, though, is interesting in that cloud users will have higher expectations and tolerance for outages will not be taken lightly.

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