• 7 min read

Microsoft Cost Management updates—March 2023

Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.

Whether you’re a new student, a thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where it’s being spent, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Microsoft Cost Management comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Microsoft Cost Management can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Let’s dig into the details.

Scheduled alerts for built-in views in Cost analysis

Cost Management offers numerous ways to stay on top of your costs and catch unexpected charges, like defining budgets to get notified as costs approach or exceed predefined thresholds, or configuring anomaly alerts to get notified when we detect atypical spending patterns in your subscription costs. But sometimes you’re looking for something a little simpler. Wouldn’t it be nice to just get a quick email letting you know how things have been going over the last week? Maybe you want to see how you’re trending against your budget or what you’re forecasted to spend for the month or maybe you want to see what your daily run rate has been over the last 30 days. Perhaps you simply want to check in once a month to see how your usage trends have changed compared to the previous months. These are exactly the types of reasons why you might want to use scheduled alerts in Cost analysis. You’ve been able to save a custom view and schedule alerts for a while. Now, you can also schedule alerts using the built-in chart views available in Cost analysis:

Accumulated costsDaily costsCost by service

To get started, open Cost analysis, choose one of the built-in (or saved) chart views from the view menu, and select the Subscribe command at the top of the page.

To learn more, see Save and share customized views, and stay tuned for even more opportunities to monitor your costs.

Details about included costs in the Cost analysis preview

Knowing what’s included in your costs is a critical part of understanding what you’re spending and where. While this is covered in documentation, there’s nothing better than surfacing these details directly in the experiences you use. To that end, you can now view additional details about your cost in the Cost analysis preview, including:

  1. The total (non-abbreviated) cost.
  2. Dates the change in cost is referring to.
  3. What costs are included or not included.
  4. Additional notes about usage processing.

Let us know what you’d like to see next. There are a lot of great things on the horizon in the Cost analysis space. If you haven’t tried the latest changes, check out the Cost analysis preview today.

Enable preview features and share your feedback

Getting feedback has always been a critical part of the Cost Management experience. We introduced Cost Management Labs for that exact purpose—to get your early feedback on the latest features and enhancements that are in development. The earlier we get your feedback, the more we can improve the experience for you. This is your chance to drive the direction and impact the future of Cost Management.

Participating in Cost Management Labs is as easy as selecting Try preview from the Cost Management overview. You’ll see a list of preview features with links to share ideas or report any bugs that may pop up. Reporting a bug is a direct line back to the Cost Management engineering team, where we’ll work with you to understand and resolve the issue. Of course, you may have seen all this before. Try preview isn’t new. What is new this month is the fact that your preview features are remembered across portal sessions. When you enable a feature, we’ll keep that enabled when you come back to the portal, making it easier than ever to get the most out of each preview.

We hope you find this update useful. Let us know what you’d like to see next and don’t forget to share your feedback about each preview. To learn more, see Enable preview features in Cost Management Labs.

What’s new in Cost Management Labs

With Cost Management Labs, you get a sneak peek at what’s coming in Microsoft Cost Management and can engage directly with us to share feedback and help us better understand how you use the service, so we can deliver more tuned and optimized experiences. Here are a few features you can see in Cost Management Labs:

Of course, that’s not all. Every change in Microsoft Cost Management is available in Cost Management Labs a week before it’s in the full Azure portal or Microsoft 365 admin center. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and understand what you’d like to see next. What are you waiting for? Try Cost Management Labs today.

New ways to save money in the Microsoft Cloud

Lots of updates over the last month! Here are new and updated offers you might be interested in:

New videos and learning opportunities

Here’s a new video about cost optimization for web apps you might be interested in:

Follow the Microsoft Cost Management YouTube channel to stay in the loop with new videos as they’re released and let us know what you’d like to see next.

Want a more guided experience? Start with Control Azure spending and manage bills with Microsoft Cost Management.

Documentation updates

Here are a few documentation updates you might be interested in:

Want to keep an eye on all documentation updates? Check out the Cost Management and Billing documentation change history in the azure-docs repository on GitHub. If you see something missing, select Edit at the top of the document and submit a quick pull request. You can also submit a GitHub issue. We welcome and appreciate all contributions.

What’s next?

These are just a few of the big updates from last month. Don’t forget to check out the previous Microsoft Cost Management updates. We’re always listening and making constant improvements based on your feedback, so please keep the feedback coming.

Follow @MSCostMgmt on Twitter and subscribe to the YouTube channel for updates, tips, and tricks. You can also share ideas and vote up others in the Cost Management feedback forum or join the research panel to participate in a future study and help shape the future of Microsoft Cost Management.

We know these are trying times for everyone. Best wishes from the Microsoft Cost Management team. Stay safe and stay healthy.