Microsoft Breaks Up Its Office Basics Family

microsoft, teams, microsoft teams, office basics, office, office 365,

Microsoft is globally unbundling Teams from its office basics suite due to antitrust scrutiny.

  • To address concerns and standardize purchasing globally, Microsoft is unbundling Teams from Office and introducing new licensing options.
  • Customers now have the choice to purchase Office without Teams included, with prices ranging from $7.75 to $54.75.

In response to ongoing antitrust scrutiny, Microsoft is separating its popular collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams, from the rest of its Office suite.

The decision comes six months after the company offered to separate office basics products in Europe and follows complaints from competitors like Salesforce-owned Slack. Slack had raised concerns about Microsoft’s bundling practices.

The European Commission has been investigating Microsoft’s bundling of Office and Teams since 2020. Back in 2017, Microsoft introduced Teams as part of Office 365. The software’s popularity skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic for its video conferencing capabilities. Competitors, however, were not pleased as they claimed that the bundling gave Microsoft an unfair advantage.

In response to the situation and to appease the European Commission, Microsoft decided to unbundle Teams from its Office suite in the EU initially. But now, the company has decided to provide customers with more flexibility in their purchasing decisions and to standardize their purchasing across different regions. The unbundling is going global.

They are not just separating Teams from the rest of the Microsoft family but also introducing new licensing options. For example, customers will now have the choice to purchase Office without Teams included, with prices ranging from $7.75 to $54.75 depending on the specific package.

On its blog, Microsoft wrote that “Globally consistent licensing helps ensure clarity for customers and streamline decision making and negotiations.” In the FAQ part of the blog, they mention that “Existing customers who already subscribe to Microsoft 365 or Office 365 suites with Teams will have new options. They may continue to use, renew, upgrade, and otherwise adjust their subscriptions as before. They may also now switch to suites without Teams at anniversary/renewal or add new user subscriptions to suites without Teams or to the new Teams standalone at any time (including alongside suites with Teams).”

Apple made the changes to its modus operandi for the sole purpose of appeasing the EU, making them exclusive to that region. There are even consequences for leaving the EU for some time. Microsoft, however, fully embraced the change, regardless of whether it was for benevolent reasons or just to have less paperwork and more profit.

It’s 2024, and having to be saddled with a whole bunch of extra software because you want just a couple of them no longer makes sense (Spoiler: It never did). If you only use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint, why in the world would you want Microsoft OneNote? Do you even know how to work with Microsoft Publisher?

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