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Microsoft’s new Unified Support Program was touted as better for businesses. The Redmond giant sold it as simpler that its predecessor, but that simplicity may come at a higher cost.

With the rollout now in full swing, Analysts at Gartner warn that the price could be significantly higher for some customers. According to the organization, those paying 7% of their annual software assurance cost for the previous Premier support will a price hike of up to 30%.

Meanwhile, those who pay above 10% will see a decrease. Despite this, Microsoft holds that it’s a better deal. Speaking to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, a spokesperson said:

“Support pricing is a good deal compared to what our competitors offer. For some customers, it might cost more but, most will see little or no increases and they’ll get access to a whole range of great new services that integrate support for cloud and on-premise products. In particular, Office 365 customers will not see any change to their support that is provided – but they will get more and better options under Unified Support.”

Higher Than the Industry Average

However, that first sentence has room for questioning. Gartner analysis suggests the Unified Support Program will be ‘far above’ the industry average. Microsoft charges 6-12% for support, plus a 25-29% SA maintenance charge. This puts the overall cost of licensing maintenance and support between 33% and 39%. The industry average is 18%-25%.

Of course, this is offset somewhat by the Office 365 support, but organizations should be wary all the same. Gartner recommends users examine their previous support costs and use them to negotiate better deals with Microsoft.

Gartner clients can view the full research here, or purchase the full document for $195.