• Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Microsoft unbundles Office and Teams globally following years-long criticism

Microsoft unbundles Office and Teams globally following years-long criticism

Microsoft has introduced new versions of Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscription services that exclude its business collaboration chat offering Teams, unbundling a suite following scrutiny from the European Union regulator and complaints from rival Slack.

The move follows Microsoft agreeing to sell Office 365 suite sans Microsoft Teams offering in the EU and Switzerland last year. At the time, the software giant said it was making the changes to address the concerns raised by the European Commission.

“Globally consistent licensing helps ensure clarity for customers and streamline decision making and negotiations,” the company wrote in a blog post Monday. The company introduced Teams as a complementary offering to the Office 365 suite in 2016. It has amassed over 320 million users.

Microsoft said it is also introducing a new standalone Teams offering for enterprise customers outside the EU and Switzerland.

Though Microsoft has long allowed businesses to pay separately for Teams, it has also offered the service bundled in the widely popular Office 365 suite. The latter has many companies, with some asserting that the tech giant was leveraging its position in an unjust manner to gain a competitive edge.

Slack, owned by Salesforce, has termed Microsoft’s actions “illegal” in the past, alleging that the Windows-maker forced installation of Teams to customers through its market-dominant productivity suite and hid the true cost of the chat and video service.

Microsoft, which in its blog didn’t address these concerns, said as part of the change, it is offering flexibility to its existing customers, allowing them to maintain their current bundled package that includes Teams, Office, and other products. These customers can choose to renew their current deal, update it, or select a new offer that better suits their needs. 

For new customers, Microsoft has introduced standalone pricing for Teams at $5.25 per user per month. Additionally, Office packages without Teams will be available at prices ranging from $7.75 to $54.75, depending on the specific package and features included.

The new Microsoft suite offering with Teams (Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft is also introducing a new variant of Microsoft 365 Business that excludes Teams (Image: Microsoft)

The story was updated with details from Microsoft’s official blog.

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