Love it or hate it, Microsoft Teams is an online communication and collaboration tool that many companies use heavily, especially those that also use Microsoft’s tech stack for other purposes. The Redmond tech giant regularly adds new features to Teams, but how would you feel if it took away some of them, too? Well, that’s exactly what the company is planning to do.
Microsoft launched a preview for Teams Premium in December 2022. It’s basically a more enterprise-friendly version of Teams that’s more geared toward webinars, online appointments, and other large gatherings. It costs $10/month/user and is expected to be generally available in early February 2023.
Now, to further differentiate Teams Premium from standard Teams and encourage organizations to subscribe to the more expensive option, Microsoft is stripping some existing features from vanilla Teams. As seen by The Register.Microsoft is silent updated its licensing documentation. To indicate that the following capabilities are going to be Premium exclusive:
- Live translated captions
- Timeline markers in Teams meeting recordings for when a user joins or leaves meetings.
- Custom organization together mode scenes
- Virtual appointments: SMS notifications
- Virtual Appointments: Organizational Analytics at Thames Admin Center
- Virtual Appointments: Scheduled Queue View
After Thames Premium becomes generally available next month, organizations will have a 30-day grace period to continue using the aforementioned features before Thames Premium is locked behind a paywall.
The move is likely to infuriate at least some users as existing users seem to have no intention of grandfathering in so they can take advantage of existing capabilities. It remains to be seen how successful Microsoft will be in its somewhat hostile sales activity.