Microsoft Increases Support Costs for IT Pros
Microsoft quietly raised the price of its Professional Support services for its U.S. software customers to $499 per incident.
No apparent notice was given of the price increase, which previously stood at around $249 per incident. Support prices for small and medium businesses, as well as for IT pros and developers, are now listed as "$499 per one incident" or "$1,999 for five incidents" for those organizations with an annual support contract. The new prices are listed at this page.
It's not clear exactly when Microsoft increased the prices, although it was noted today by Rod Trent, a Microsoft MVP, in a Twitter post:
There was some speculation that the $499 cost might have been the so-called "after-hours support" price. However, the page listed above seems to debunk that notion. Ironically, at press time, the after-hours support costs were listed at $259 per incident ("all severities") or $515 per incident ("critical severity"), which may be outdated information.
Update: the price increase happened on November 20, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, via e-mail on Tuesday.
Sometimes Microsoft's support services for organizations are free, but that gets determined by Microsoft via its Web portal or over the phone. Customers have to provide a credit card number to initiate the support process.
Microsoft Support may or may not deliver a solution for a particular incident. It's up to Microsoft's discretion with regard to charging (or not) in cases when it doesn't deliver a solution, according to its Professional Support FAQ.
Professional Support services do not cover products that have exited Microsoft's "extended support" lifecycle phase after 10 years. Getting support after that point requires setting up an account to get "custom support."
Microsoft has a separate Premier Support service for large enterprises, but the prices aren't listed. Here's how the spokesperson described it:
Microsoft offers Premier Support for Enterprise customers. Premier support pricing varies depending on number of employees, products and response times desired by the customer. More information about Premier Support can be found here.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.