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Power BI Pricing Announced

with 12 comments

I saw today that the prices and licensing options for Power BI have been announced. You can see the details here:

Thankfully, it’s pretty simple and straightforward.

  • If you already have an Office 365 E3 or E4 subscription, right now you pay $20 per user per month (though that will go up to $33pupm after June 30th this year). This gives you all the cloud-based functionality we’ve seen in the Power BI including Power BI sites, connections to on-prem data sources, mobile BI, data refresh etc.
  • If you already have an Office 2013 Professional Plus licence for your desktop and do not have an Office 365 subscription you can pay $40pupm to get all of the above plus the Sharepoint Online Plan 2 licence you need as a prerequisite for this functionality.
  • If you don’t have an Office 2013 Professional Plus licence either, you can pay $52pupm to get all the Power BI functionality plus Sharepoint Online Plan 2 plus an Office 365 Professional Plus subscription.

Some comments:

  • I’ve heard from Microsoft sources that this works out at about 50% of the cost of Tableau, which is the right price point to aim at in my opinion. As Jen Underwood said in this post, trying to compare the broad range of functionality available in Tableau with Power BI is difficult (though Brad Llewellyn has done a good job looking at specific scenarios); but it’s unavoidable that customers will be comparing Power BI with Tableau and the likes of QlikView. So very good news here.
  • As I’ve said numerous times already, looking at cost of Power BI on its own is misleading because the decision to use it or not will be bound up with larger corporate decisions about migrating to Office 2013 and Office 365.
  • As far as I can see, if you have Excel 2013 standalone, Office 2013 Professional Plus or an equivalent Office 365 SKU and if you do not want to use the cloud functionality, the Excel components (Power Pivot, Power Query, Power View and Power Map) are free to use and do not require a subscription. Some of these Excel addins are also available to users of Office 2010, though not all and for different SKUs of Office 2010. I want to double-check this though. Some functionality of course, such as the ability to share Power Query queries, will only work if you do have a Power BI subscription.
  • While I’m really pleased to see that users with existing desktop installations of Excel are being catered for here, as we’ve seen with the Synonyms functionality it’s clear that if you want the latest functionality in Excel as soon as it’s available you will need to have an Office 365 subscription and a streamed installation. This is the future, although I suspect it may take a long time for corporate IT departments to get round to using the streamed versions.

Written by Chris Webb

January 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Power BI

12 Responses

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  1. Do you know if they’ve released this, or if it’s just an announcement? I tried to add to my existing farm, but got an error message (which may be because my subscription is not US based)


    January 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm

  2. […] Chris Webb’s Blog – Power BI Pricing Announced […]

  3. It’s still in public preview right now. so I’m not sure if you can actually add a subscription for it yet.


    January 7, 2014 at 3:20 am

  4. […] Webb posted this on his blog a few days ago ( with his own opinions. As to not reinvent the wheel, the offerings are explained well enough in […]

  5. As I understand, Tableau has a free reader. So only folks who are authoring reports need to pay for the full version and everyone else can use/view them for free. It’s unclear how this would be handled in Power BI. Microsoft needs to work out a way so users who are simply viewing the Power View reports have no added cost or only a minimal additional cost.


    January 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm

  6. […] Webb comments on the Power BI costs, and compares them with other BI […]

  7. […] Power BI Pricing Announced […]

  8. […] Power BI Pricing Announced […]

  9. […] tools — which are either free downloads or come with Excel.  Basically, as I saw Chris Webb point out on his blog, it amounts to about half the cost of Tableau.  Which isn’t bad.  Of course, as Chris also […]

  10. […] an Office 365 subscription and gives you extra functionality. You can find out about the licensing here and I’ve blogged about what it gives you here, here and […]

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