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  • Parv Jain

Microsoft Announces Separation of Teams from Office Suite Worldwide

Microsoft teams

Microsoft will now sell its Teams app, which lets you chat and have video calls, on its own, not just as part of the Office bundle with programs like Word and Excel. They decided to do this all over the world. This decision comes after they started selling Teams separately in Europe six months ago to avoid getting fined by EU regulators. The European Commission started looking into Microsoft's practice of selling Office and Teams together after Slack, which is owned by Salesforce and competes with Teams, complained in 2020.

Teams, a tool for chatting and video calls, was added to the Office 365 package at no extra cost in 2017, and it took over Skype for Business. It became really popular, especially for video meetings when the pandemic hit. However, other companies think it's not fair for Microsoft to include Teams with Office because it gives Microsoft too much of an advantage. So, starting from October 1 last year, Microsoft began selling Teams and Office as separate products in the EU and Switzerland. Now, a person from Microsoft has said they will do the same thing for customers all over the world to make things clearer and fairer.

Microsoft is making changes based on suggestions from the European Commission. This means big companies that work in different countries can now choose more freely what they want to buy, without being limited by where they are. Microsoft mentioned in a blog post that they're bringing out new versions of their Microsoft 365 and Office 365 packages for businesses, which will not have Teams included, for places other than Europe and Switzerland. They are also introducing a new separate option for just Teams for big companies in these areas.

Starting April 1, Microsoft is giving customers several options. They can keep their current deal, renew it, update it, or choose one of the new options being offered. For businesses buying Microsoft products for the first time, the price for the Office package without Teams will be between $7.75 and $54.75, depending on which version they pick. If they just want Teams by itself, it will cost $5.25. The exact prices might be a bit different in each country because of the currency. Microsoft hasn't shared how much the combined Office and Teams packages used to cost.

Even with these changes, Microsoft might still face legal challenges from the European Union. The EU is expected to bring up some issues with Microsoft in the next few months. Competitors are not happy about how much Microsoft is charging and they have concerns about how well their chat services work with Microsoft's Office Web Applications.

Microsoft has had to pay 2.2 billion euros (which is about $2.4 billion) in fines in Europe over the last 10 years because they were combining or packaging two or more products together in a way that broke competition rules. Now, they could be facing an even bigger fine, up to 10% of their total global sales for a year, if they are found to have broken these competition laws again.


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