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Microsoft is locking some existing Teams features behind the more expensive Premium tier

Microsoft Teams logo behind a physical paywall with sad and angry emojis

Love it or hate it, Microsoft Teams is an online communication and collaboration tool which is heavily used by many companies, especially those which also utilize Microsoft's tech stack for other purposes. The Redmond tech giant regularly adds new features to Teams, but how would you feel if it also took away some of them? Well, that's exactly what the company is planning on doing.

Microsoft launched a preview for Teams Premium back in December 2022. It's essentially a more enterprise-friendly version of Teams that is geared more towards webinars, online appointments, and other large gatherings. It costs $10/month/user and is expected to be generally available in early February 2023.

Now, in order to further differentiate Teams Premium from standard Teams and encourage organizations to subscribe to the more expensive option, Microsoft is taking away some existing features from vanilla Teams. As spotted by The Register, Microsoft has quietly updated its licensing documentation to indicate that the following capabilities are about to become Premium-exclusive:

  • Live translated captions
  • Timeline markers in Teams meeting recordings for when a user left or joined meetings
  • Custom organization Together mode scenes
  • Virtual Appointments: SMS notifications
  • Virtual Appointments: Organizational analytics in the Teams admin center
  • Virtual Appointments: Scheduled queue view

Once Teams Premium becomes generally available next month, organizations will have a 30-day grace period to continue using the aforementioned features before they are locked behind the Teams Premium paywall.

The move is likely to infuriate at least some customers as there appear to be no intentions to grandfather in existing customers just so they can avail the existing capabilities. It remains to be seen how successful Microsoft will be in its somewhat hostile upselling activity.

Source: Microsoft via The Register

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