Teams standard gets fewer features in a sneaky Microsoft move

 Microsoft has quietly announced that features are being withdrawn from the standard Teams plans and will only be in the higher-priced ‘Teams Premium” plan.

The change is controversial because it’s a late change to the features in Teams Premium by taking away existing options from other paying customers.  Microsoft knows customers won’t be happy so they’ve sneaked the announcement in quietly hoping most people won’t notice.

Teams Premium was announced back in October 2022. Now, three months later, Microsoft is changing the features and shrinking the benefits for other customers.

It seems Teams Premium isn’t as popular as Microsoft had hoped. The company has come up with a way to encourage organizations to pay more by removing features from the lower-priced plan.

This change demonstrates again the danger to customers of ‘subscription’ plans.  Microsoft can and does change the services available any time it suits the customer.

What’s moving away from Teams standard

These features affected are being withdrawn from Teams standard plan and will only be in Teams Premium. Here’s Microsoft’s summary with the different ‘grace periods’.

  • Live translation of captions during Teams meetings.
    • Grace Period: 60 days
  • Custom together mode scenes.
    • Grace Period: 30 days
  • Timeline markers in the recordings of Teams meetings.
    • Grace Period: 30 days
  • Virtual appointments SMS notifications, Organizational analytics in Admin Center and Scheduled queue view
    • Grace Period: 30 days

Grace Periods aka when it’s happening

Each of the moving Teams features will remain available to other Teams users for a short time after Teams Premium goes public.  That’s expected in February 2023 but there’s no exact date yet.

Microsoft calls this a ‘grace period’ as if they are being generous to paying customers while removing features they are already paying for.

Live Translation will continue to be available for 60 days, the other features will stop after 30 days. See above for details.

Sneaky announcement

The only notification is a ‘Service Update’ message, normally sent to Microsoft 365 admins only.

MC445406 “(Updated) Announcing Microsoft Teams Premium” is “updated the content below to provide additional clarity”.

An extreme Microsoft euphemism because the ‘clarity’ is really some important changes to what’s available in Teams Premium with no mention of what’s leaving standard Teams.

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