Power BI was first made generally available in July 2015. Since then, Microsoft’s driving vision for Power BI has been to enable users across roles, disciplines and industries to sign up for the service in seconds and get business value by drawing insights from their data within minutes. Our relentless focus to drive access to insights at scale has helped Power BI reach more than 200,000 organizations, and the breadth of this global community continues to directly contribute to Power BI’s evolution – to date more than 400 features have been added to the service as the result of input from more than 50,000 users.

Introducing Power BI Premium

Today Microsoft is taking the next step in its commitment to empower people and organizations with access to critical intelligence: introducing Power BI Premium. Power BI Premium builds on the existing Power BI portfolio with a capacity-based licensing model that increases flexibility for how users access, share and distribute content. The new offering also delivers additional scalability and performance to the Power BI service.

  • Flexibility to license by capacity. Power BI Premium introduces expanded licensing flexibility to help organizations equip users with the appropriate level of access to the Power BI service based on their unique needs. For example, many organizations contain users who aren’t actively creating BI content, but require the ability to consume content distributed to them. Power BI Premium enables Power BI Pro users to publish reports broadly across the enterprise and beyond, without requiring recipients to be licensed per user.

  • Greater scale and performance. Organizations using Power BI Premium will be able to customize performance based on the needs of their team, department or the organization itself. The offering consists of capacity in the Power BI service exclusively allocated to each organization and supported by dedicated hardware fully managed by Microsoft. Organizations can choose to apply their dedicated capacity broadly, or allocate it to assigned workspaces based on the number of users, workload needs or other factors—and scale up or down as requirements change. A calculator is available to help with capacity planning.

  • Power BI apps. Along with the freedom to license Power BI for enterprise deployments, we are evolving content packs into Power BI apps to improve how users discover and explore insights at enterprise scale. Available today, Power BI apps offer a simplified way of deploying dashboards and reports to specific people, groups or an entire organization. Business users can easily install these apps and navigate them with ease, centralizing content in one place and updating automatically.

  • Extending on-premises capabilities. Power BI Premium introduces the ability to maintain BI assets on-premises with Power BI Report Server. Power BI Report Server is an on-premises server that allows the deployment and distribution of interactive Power BI reports – and traditional paginated reports – completely within the boundaries of the organization’s firewall. With Power BI Premium the same number of virtual cores an organization provisions in the cloud can also be deployed on-premises through Power BI Report Server, without the need to split the capacity. Organizations can choose Power BI in the cloud, or elect to keep reports on-premises with Power BI Report Server and move to the cloud at their pace.

  • Embedded analytics. With Power BI Premium we’re also advancing how Power BI content is embedded in apps created by customers, partners and the broad developer community. As part of the new offering we are converging Power BI Embedded with the Power BI service to deliver one API surface, a consistent set of capabilities and access to the latest features. Moving forward we encourage those interested in embedding Power BI in their apps to start with Power BI Desktop and move to deployment with Power BI Premium. Existing apps built on Power BI Embedded will continue to be supported.

Simplifying the free Power BI service

Just as Power BI Premium simplifies large-scale BI deployments, today we’re also simplifying the distinction between Power BI Pro and the free service. While the free service is intended for personal use and Power BI Pro enables collaboration, we’ve received feedback that functional differences between them have created confusion for users. Going forward, we will improve the free service to have the same functionality as Power BI Pro, but will limit sharing and collaboration features to only Power BI Pro users. Users of the free Power BI service will benefit from access to all data sources, increased workspace storage limits, and higher refresh and streaming rates. These changes will be effective June 1, and you can read more on the Power BI Community. Power BI Desktop continues to be available for free.

Learn More

Power BI Premium will be generally available late in the second quarter of 2017. Initial SKU and pricing information is available here.

  • Register for the Microsoft Data Insights Summit in Seattle on June 12–13, where we will have dedicated sessions on today’s announcements.

  • Register for our upcoming webinar on Power BI Premium.

  • Sign up to receive updates when Power BI Premium is available to purchase.

  • Read about the Power BI apps preview.

  • Learn about migration for existing Power BI Embedded customers.