New renewable Office 365 developer subscriptions launch on April 3rd

Michael Aldridge

Hello Office 365 developer community! 12 months ago, we launched our new and improved Office 365 Developer Program and we’ re excited to announce some news:

  • First, we just hit over 120,000 developer members, and we’re growing by over 10,000 new members every month.
  • Second, to celebrate this milestone, we’ re launching a new renewable Office 365 developer subscription!

New renewable Office 365 developer subscriptions

One of the most important features you told us you wanted was an easy way to get a development environment for Office 365 in 5 minutes. So our focus when we launched 1 year ago, in March 2018 , was to deliver on this promise of an easier way to sign-up for a one-year Office 365 E3 developer subscription. While we delivered on that promise, many customers told us that the annual expiration and replacement process was a challenge for them.

Customers shared with us the pain of being forced to replace their dev subscription annually, especially when it had valuable customized test users and data as a sandbox for their own development and testing. They said loud and clear:  “We want the ability to renew our subscription, not replace it”.

We are happy to inform you we heard you and we acted! On April 3rd, we moved to a new model that enables a perpetual renewal of your developer subscription.

  • Now, you can get a free Office 365 developer subscription with 25 user licenses to use to build your solutions and it will remain active for as long as you’re actively developing and deploying solutions.
  • No more rip and replace after one year.
  • With this new model comes a revamped dashboard user experience (see below). This new tile design is designed to help you manage your subscription and allow us to warn you when your subscription needs renewal or is about to expire.

The new dashboard will also provide (in the near future) new capabilities to help you configure your subscription and developer sandbox. More to come on that soon. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates.

New 90-day Office 365 developer subscription

As part of this renewability change, we are moving from a 1-year subscription to a 90-day subscription. This means that if you are an active developer, your subscription will be renewed every 90 days vs expiring every year. Our fundamental principle with this new model is to offer this free renewable subscription privilege to real developers, doing real development work in the following Office 365 platform areas:

Why are you changing from 1 year to 90 days?

  • We want to be fully transparent about why we are making this change to a 90-day period. We simply must balance giving real developers flexible, renewable and easy-to-get free subscriptions with our responsibility to protect against piracy and abuse.
  • This new model gives you the perpetual renewal you want, enabling us to use telemetry and analytics to validate that a customer is using the subscription for development purposes only (according to our terms of use).
  • If someone is not actively using the subscription for development, their subscription will not be renewed and will expire after 3 months. The subscription and all data will then be deleted within 60 days after expiration.

What does this mean if I’m an existing user?

  • If you have a renewable subscription, when your one year is over, you will be renewed based on your activity level and transitioned to the new 90-day model.
  • Your expiration date is featured in our new tile UX above showing all the days left until expiration.
  • If you have a non-renewable subscription, you will need to replace your current subscription with a renewable one. To learn more, see Subscription expiration and renewal.

What does this mean if I am a new user?

  • Any member who creates a new subscription after April 3rd will automatically have a 90-day expiration period with activity-based renewal.
  • This means that if you are actively using your subscription for development, it will be renewed every 90 days rather than expiring every year.

What if I joined as a Visual Studio subscriber?

  • There is no change for Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers who joined through that program. These programs include a free Office 365 developer subscription that is good for the life of your Visual Studio subscription
  • If you prefer to have a subscription that is available for a longer time, we recommend that you get the Visual Studio Enterprise subscription. If you are a Visual Studio Enterprise subscriber, to access this, go to Visual Studio | My Benefits. For more information, contact Visual Studio customer service.

Check out our updated documentation

To help you understand these changes, we have updated our documentation, to explain our new user experience and warning messages.

For more details, check out our updated developer program FAQ, and our new subscription expiration and renewal topic.

Thank you for your support of the Office 365 development platform. Keep the feedback coming!

We look forward to seeing you at the Microsoft Office 365 booth at Build 2019 in May.

Feedback usabilla icon