Give customers free trials of Microsoft products

Appropriate roles: Global admin | User management admin | Sales agent

A good way to introduce customers to new Microsoft products is to offer 30-day free trials. You can sign up for the trials in the catalog just like many other online services. All partners can participate.

Available trial offers

You can find all of your outstanding trial offers on the Customer page. This page lists all subscriptions, including free trials and paid subscriptions. (This feature is not currently available in China.)

Each customer is entitled to one free trial for each available offer. For example, they can get one free trial for Microsoft 365 Business Standard and one free trial for Office 365 E3. However, if the customer already owns the offer, they can't use a free trial for that offer.

Available products

Free trials are available for the more most comprehensive and popular license-based offers. New trial offers may be introduced on a monthly basis.

Partners can find trials in the monthly price list on the pricing and offers page in Partner Center. Trial offers will have "TRIAL" listed in the price list Secondary License Type column.

Currently, there are no free trials for government offers, education offers, or add-on offers.

Licenses for free trial offers

All free trials provide 25 licenses. You can't change this number during the trial. You can't add or remove licenses in the free trial. After the trial is converted to a paid subscription, you can add more licenses to the subscription.

Trial licenses should be assigned to users in the same way paid services license are assigned.

Sign customers up for trials

Get a trial for your customer in Partner Center:

  1. From Sell on the Partner Center, go to Catalog.
  2. In the catalog, from Billing frequency, select Trial offer. This enables only free trials to appear and disables other offers that are not free. Trials will show up on the Trials tab in the catalog.
  3. Select the free trial you want to offer and then select submit. All trials are for 30 days during which you will not be billed. You can also convert it to a paid subscription at any time during the trial.

Converting trials to paid subscriptions

For traditional offers, free trials are not automatically converted to a paid subscription. After 30 days, a free trial must be converted to a paid subscription or it will expire. Free trials can't be extended.

You'll need to convert the trial into a paid subscription yourself. You can do this using the Partner Center or through the Partner Center APIs.

Note

Customer free trials for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program can't be converted to another program tenant (such as EA, Open or MOSP).

Convert trials using Partner Center

You can convert trials to paid subscriptions using Partner Center:

  1. Go to the customer’s subscription page, and select the free trial.
  2. Select Convert trial to paid subscription.
  3. Enter the desired license quantity and billing frequency, and select Apply.
  4. Billing for the paid subscription begins on the conversion date, and the subscription auto-renews 12 months from the conversion date.

Convert trials using APIs

You may need to alter your APIs to accommodate the conversion of a free trial to a paid subscription. For more information, see the following developer documentation:

Trials without conversions

Not all trials can be converted to paid subscriptions. Partners can use a trial that has no conversions until the expiration date. Partners can purchase compatible offers that support the same services as the trial offer. This should be done before the trial expires to ensure the newly purchased offers' services align with the trial's services.

Trial Compatible Small Business offers Compatible Enterprise offers
Microsoft Teams Commercial Cloud (User Initiated) Trial Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Microsoft 365 Business Premium F3 (formerly F1), Office 365 for Enterprise (E1, E3, and E5), Microsoft 365 F1/F3, Microsoft 365 Enterprise (E3)

Note

The offers above have similar service plans with similar functionality, however there may be some differences between the offers.

Expiring offers

You will not be notified of expiring offers. You can track upcoming expiration dates using the customer view on Partner Center or by querying the API. It’s a good idea to monitor these dates frequently so you can take the appropriate follow-up actions with customers as they approach a decision point.

After a trial has expired, a customer who attempts to sign in to that trial will see an expiry message. However, the data is stored in line with data retention standards. After you purchase a new subscription with the same service plans, your customer's information can be accessed again from the newly activated subscription.

Converting new commerce trials to paid subscriptions

For new commerce license-based offers, your free trial will auto-renew into the equivalent paid subscription after thirty days. It is important to note that in order to convert a trial, auto-renew must be turned on. If partners do not want to convert their trial to paid by default, they can choose to turn off auto-renew and the trial will simply expire at the end of the trial period. There are two ways to convert a trial to a new paid subscription: Immediate or Scheduled conversion.

When doing an immediate conversion, you can convert your trial to a paid at anytime before the end of the 30 day trial period. When doing so, at minimum, all 25 seats need to be converted to the new paid subscription. Partners can add more than 25 seats on conversion but reducing the number of seats is not allowed. These changes will go into affect immediately. On the other hand, a scheduled conversion allows you to choose the number of seats you want to convert or modify billing term and frequency. These changes will go into affect automatically after the trial period ends.

Partners can also convert trials to existing paid subscriptions. In this scenario, the existing subscription must be a subscription that is eligible for the trial conversion. If so, the trial seats will be added to the existing subscription and the end date will remain the same for the existing paid subscription.

Note

Existing paid SKU’s end date must occur on the same day or after the trial’s end date in order to do a conversion from the trial to an existing paid subscription.

When converting a trial to a new paid subscription, partners can choose to convert to the same paid SKU or upgrade to a higher SKU. If you'd like to convert your trial to the paid subscription before the end of the trial period, you can do so through the Partner Center APIs or through Partner Center itself by following the steps below.

Note

Customer free trials for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program can't be converted to another program tenant (such as EA, Open or MOSP).

Convert new commerce trials using Partner Center

You can immediately convert new commerce trials to paid subscriptions using Partner Center:

  1. Go to the customer’s subscription page, and select the free trial.
  2. Select Convert trial to paid subscription.
  3. Choose the paid equivalent and then select Submit.
  4. Billing for the paid subscription begins on the conversion date, and the subscription auto-renews twelve months from the conversion date.

You can also schedule trial conversions using Partner Center, which automatically take place at the end of the trial period:

  1. Go to the customer’s subscription page, and select the free trial.
  2. Ensure Auto-renew is enabled.
  3. Select Manage renewal.
  4. Make the updates you would like for the conversion and then select Submit.
  5. Billing for the paid subscription begins on the conversion date, and the subscription auto-renews twelve months from the conversion date.

Trial conversions need to be managed by the partner; there are no subscription based alerting in Partner Center to let partners know when a trial is expiring.

Note

On conversion to a new subscription, term duration defaults to 1 year and billing cycle defaults to a monthly plan.

Billing

Annual billing and free trials are the same in sovereign clouds and the public cloud. The only difference is the trial SKUs available at the time of launch.

Billing for free trials

Free trials can be used for both monthly and annually billed subscriptions. You can select the billing frequency when you convert the trial to a paid subscription. The default conversion settings are set to a 1 year term and a monthly billing cycle.

The subscription start date is based on the conversion date. If the free trial is converted to a paid offer with annual billing, the subscription renewal date will be 12 months from the conversion date. If the free trial is converted to a paid offer with monthly billing, the subscription renewal date will be twelve months from the billing date following the conversion date.

Legacy Invoices

You won't see free trials listed in your invoice or license-based reconciliation file. Free trials will only appear on your invoice and license-based reconciliation file after you convert a free trial to a paid subscription. The converted subscription will appear in the same way as any new subscription.

New Commerce Invoices

You won't see free trials listed in your invoice, but you can easily find them in your reconciliation file. Look into “ProductQualifiers” attribute in the reconciliation file to verify a trial product.

Incentives

Free trials do not have an impact on incentives.

Support

For support on free trials, submit a service request through Partner Center.