Microsoft makes free Teams features exclusive to upcoming Teams Premium
Microsoft revealed plans in October 2022 to launch Microsoft Teams Premium, a subscription-based version of its meeting and collaboration application.
Teams Premium is available as a preview release at the moment and scheduled for an early February 2023 release according to the Microsoft Partner Center announcement. The February launch will make some Teams features exclusive to Teams Premium. In other words, Microsoft is removing features from the free Teams service.
A support page on Microsoft Learn compares the feature sets of Teams and Teams Premium. Microsoft highlights exclusive features such as branding options, using AI, advanced meeting protections such as end-to-end encryption, and registration waitlists.
The documentation lists the features that will be removed from Teams as well. These are:
- 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.
A grace period gives administrators 30 days to purchase Teams Premium for users before the functionality is removed from the free version of Teams.
Teams Premium will only be available to commercial, worldwide public sector, EDU, GCC, or non-profit tenants. There is also a user requirement: an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscription with Teams is required.
Microsoft integrated Teams into the company's Windows 11 operating system. The chat icon, displayed by default on the Windows 11 taskbar, opens Teams on the system.
It is unclear how popular the features are that Microsoft plans to remove from the free version of Teams. Live translated captions sounds like a useful feature that some could make use. Businesses that use Teams may make use of the other options, whereas non-commercial users might not.
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