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Is Power BI Desktop Still Free?

A Look at Microsoft's Pricing

Power BI Desktop has been a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking to create insightful data visualizations and reports. Historically, Microsoft offered a free version of Power BI Desktop, but like many software products, the pricing and licensing models can change over time. In this article, we'll explore whether Power BI Desktop is still free and how Microsoft's pricing has evolved.

Power BI Desktop's History of Being Free:

Power BI Desktop was initially launched as a free tool, and for many years, it remained free to download and use. This made it an attractive option for individuals, small businesses, and organizations on a budget who wanted to harness the power of data visualization without significant upfront costs.

The Introduction of Power BI Pro:

While Power BI Desktop itself remained free, Microsoft introduced a paid subscription service called Power BI Pro. This subscription, which is priced on a per-user basis, unlocks additional features and capabilities when used in conjunction with Power BI Service (the cloud-based platform for sharing and collaborating on reports and dashboards).

Some of the benefits of Power BI Pro include:

Publishing and sharing reports: With Power BI Pro, users can publish their reports to the Power BI Service and share them with colleagues or stakeholders. This enables collaboration and allows for real-time updates to reports.

Content collaboration: Power BI Pro allows users to collaborate on content, create workspaces, and share datasets with others in their organization.

Scheduled data refresh: Power BI Pro users can schedule regular data refreshes for their reports, ensuring that the information stays up-to-date.

Access to mobile apps: Power BI Pro users can access and interact with reports using the Power BI Mobile app.

Power BI Free vs. Power BI Pro:

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Power BI Desktop itself was still available as a free download. However, the decision to use Power BI Free or upgrade to Power BI Pro would depend on your specific needs and how you intend to use the tool.

If you primarily work with Power BI Desktop and don't require the advanced collaboration and sharing features of Power BI Service, you can continue to use the free version without incurring any additional costs.To Learn Power BI consider taking Power BI Course.

Power BI Premium:

In addition to Power BI Pro, Microsoft also offers Power BI Premium, which is designed for larger organizations with greater scalability and performance needs. Power BI Premium allows for dedicated capacity and additional features not available with Power BI Pro.

Please note that pricing and licensing models can change over time, and Microsoft may have introduced new offerings or made adjustments to existing ones since my last knowledge update. Therefore, it's essential to visit the official Microsoft Power BI website or contact Microsoft directly for the most up-to-date information on Power BI pricing and licensing.

Top comments (2)

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Larry Martin

Great overview! It's interesting to see how Power BI Desktop evolved from being a free tool to the introduction of Power BI Pro. The shift in pricing models reflects the growing demand for advanced features, providing users with more options for insightful data visualizations.
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As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Power BI Desktop was available for free. However, Microsoft's pricing and licensing can change over time. To get the most up-to-date information on whether Power BI Desktop is still free, please click here to visit the official Microsoft Power BI website or contact Microsoft directly for their current pricing and licensing details.