Microsoft Service Level Changes

Last updated: September 19, 2022
Audience: StaffIT Staff / Technical


The goal of the Microsoft Service Level Changes project is to transition the current UW Microsoft service offering to one that aligns with the latest contract agreements between Microsoft and the UW signed in June 2021. Work on this transition has commenced and will continue through summer of 2023. Please note that everyone at the UW will automatically receive the appropriate UW Microsoft service level (Advanced, Student, or Standard) for their UW Office 365 account based on their primary affiliation with the university.

Continue reading for additional information on Microsoft’s education offering as well as the differences between the four UW Microsoft service levels.

Timeline of changes

  • November 2021: Student UW Office 365 accounts will be upgraded from the UW Microsoft Transitional service level to the UW Microsoft Student service level (completed)
  • June/July 2022: Faculty and staff UW Office 365 accounts will be upgraded from the UW Microsoft Transitional service level to the UW Microsoft Advanced service level (completed)
  • July 5, 2022: Departments can begin requesting purchase orders to upgrade individual UW Office 365 accounts to the UW Microsoft Advanced service level; cost: $110 per account (completed)
  • June 2023: All UW Office 365 accounts that remain at the UW Microsoft Transitional service level will be downgraded to the UW Microsoft Standard service level

Differences between UW Microsoft service levels

UW Microsoft Service Level Offerings

The four UW Microsoft service levels for UW Office 365 accounts are as follows:

  • The UW Microsoft Transitional service level (aka the current service level offering, aka “Office 365 A3 for faculty license”)
  • The UW Microsoft Advanced service level
  • The UW Microsoft Student service level
  • The UW Microsoft Standard service level

The following table provides an overview of the upcoming changes and differences between each UW Microsoft service level. For information about when changes will take effect, view the Timeline of changes below the table.

Note: Individuals and departments that depend on specific features or functionality within Microsoft products should carefully review the table below to determine if further action is necessary on their part. Those who provide IT direction and support need to pay particular attention to changes that will impact users in their organizations.

BOLD = Feature changes. Gold = increase in service; Purple = decrease or removal of service.


UW Microsoft Transitional (Current)

UW Microsoft Advanced

UW Microsoft Student

UW Microsoft Standard

Office 365 ProPlus for PC and Mac
(software installed on the non-UW owned or managed computer)
Yes Yes Yes No (removed)
Office activated via KMS on UW owned systems
(software installed on the computer that is owned and managed by UW)
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Office Online applications for the web
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Office for iOS and Android Yes Yes Yes Yes
Conditional Access/2FA Yes Yes Yes No1 (removed)
Power BI (Pro) No Yes (increase) Yes (increase) No
Dial-in audio conferencing for Microsoft Teams meetings created by user No Yes (increase) No No
Teams Dataverse and Virtual Agents Yes Yes No (removed) No (removed)
Bookings Yes Yes Yes No (removed)
Microsoft Editor premium features Yes Yes Yes No (removed)
Service Level Changes — Important for End Users
Exchange Online Mailbox limit 100GB 100GB 100GB 50GB (decrease)
Send Microsoft 365 Encrypted Email Standard Advanced (increase) Standard None (removed)
OneDrive for Business Storage 5TB 5TB 5TB 1TB (decrease)
To-Do Standard Advanced (increase) Standard Standard
Whiteboard Standard Advanced (increase) Advanced (increase) Basic (decrease)
Stream Standard Advanced (increase) Standard Standard
Forms Standard Advanced (increase) Standard Standard
Service Level Changes — Important for Department IT
eDiscovery Standard Advanced (increase) Standard None2 (removed)
Proactive Threat Protection Standard Advanced (increase) Advanced (increase) Basic (decrease)
Data Loss Protection Standard Advanced (increase) Standard Standard
Incident Investigation Standard Advanced (increase) Advanced (increase) Basic (decrease)
Data encryption and protection Standard Advanced (increase) Standard Basic (decrease)

1Users which have enabled “Opt in to use 2FA on the web” will lose the Microsoft licensing required to trigger 2FA when using their UW Microsoft account. 2FA prompts for their UW Microsoft account will continue for some undetermined period, but will stop when UW-IT has fixed the mechanisms currently used.

2UW-IT may apply a temporary service level as needed to meet compliance or legal requirements, but may also seek reimbursement from departments for the temporary service level.

Population-specific information

Populations within the UW community–based on the individual’s affiliation–will automatically receive the appropriate UW Microsoft service level (Advanced, Student, or Standard) for their UW Office 365 account. Those populations with high levels of enterprise risk, in addition to a need for advanced features, will see an increase in services, while core services for other populations will decrease.

Follow the links below to learn more about the type of UW Microsoft service level that will be applied to each population at the UW.

To determine how you are affiliated with the UW, and what Microsoft Service level will be applied to your UW Office 365 account, please see the Affiliations page for more information.

Microsoft 365 Education Licensing Background

Microsoft offers several Microsoft 365 Education licensing options that are specific to the needs of educational institutions — these options are grouped into three distinct licenses: the A1, A3, and A5 license.  Additionally, Microsoft further divides their licensing options into different products and services lines designated as either “Microsoft 365” or “Office 365”.  A key distinction with the new UW Microsoft service level offerings is that they draw from both products and services lines: Microsoft 365 and Office 365.

Note: The service level agreements that UW has with Microsoft are specific to our organizational needs; the specific agreements may not fully align with the standard service level descriptions as published in Microsoft’s documentation.

At the UW

The current model for delivering UW Microsoft Office 365 to the University of Washington community features one type of “service level” for the University — the “Office 365 A3 for faculty” license.  This license is assigned to almost every UW NetID with an active UW Office 365 account and ensures that almost every UW NetID has the same access to the same set of Microsoft features across the UW community.

However, in June 2021 the UW signed a new four-year contract with Microsoft that will move the University towards a new strategy and service delivery model. This new strategy increases services for some UW Office 365 accounts with high levels of enterprise risk and need for advanced features, while decreasing core services for other UW Office 365 accounts.  The end result will be three distinct “service level” offerings at the University of Washington for UW Office 365 accounts, as well as a fourth “transitional” service level that exists currently (aka the “Office 365 A3 for faculty license”).


More information on related topics, tools, or other resources: