Microsoft Splits Teams from Office in EU

Microsoft will give its European business customers the opportunity to buy the Teams video and chat app separately from the Office software.

Microsoft Splits Teams from Office in EU

The corresponding statement was made by the technology giant on Thursday, August 31. The company made this decision a month after the European Union initiated an antimonopoly investigation into the bundling of Microsoft products.

The change in the technology giant’s corporate solutions for the European market will come into force on October 1. The innovations will affect the company’s business customers in the EU and four other countries in the region that use Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites.

The tech giant also decided to make it easier for other companies, for example, Zoom and Slack, owned by Salesforce, to integrate their products with Microsoft 365, the new name Office 365.

Nanna-Louise Linde, the company’s vice president for relations with the European government, said that the new solutions will balance the interests of the tech giant’s competitors with the interests of European business customers, noting that users will have access to the best products at reasonable prices.

Microsoft will participate in the investigation that has begun in the EU and will be ready to explore pragmatic business initiatives that will benefit clients and developers in Europe. This was also reported by Nanna-Louise Linde.

The tech giant will charge core corporate customers €2 ($2.2) less per month for Microsoft 365 and Office 365, which include Word, Excel, and Outlook among other apps.

New European clients will have the opportunity to purchase Teams, known for the videoconferencing function, separately for €5 ($5.4) per month.

Nanna-Louise Linde says that existing corporate users who already work with Teams can independently choose whether to remain the owners of the current productivity suite or switch to a new set of digital products without this app.

In the EU, an investigation into Microsoft’s likely involvement in the practice of actions that limit the capabilities of competitors began after a complaint messaging app Slack claimed that the tech giant has unreasonably tied teams to its dominant workplace software. This is not the end of the claims against the company in the EU jurisdiction space. The tech giant has faced a complaint from the European cloud group AWS, which claims that Microsoft is involved in unfair licensing practices to gain EU customers for its cloud infrastructure.

The Next Cloud GmbH cloud platform also has claims against the company. Her complaint is based on a claim against the decision of the technology giant to combine the OneDrive cloud system with Windows.

EU officials have expressed concern that the company may give certain teams an advantage in distributing digital products, and limit the ability of customers to add certain apps when subscribing to performance enhancement suites.

Last month, the media, citing insiders, reported that the commission, which is investigating Microsoft in Europe, may file formal charges this fall if the company does not beef up its offer.

Rivals say that the current decisions of the technology giant with a high degree of probability will not help him to complete the proceedings in the status of the winner. An anonymous media insider said that the company’s actions are playing to the gallery, and the commission investigating most likely will not take these actions seriously, since, in fact, the firm did not offer anything new as part of the solutions announced for October.

For the tech giant, the problems in the European market are sensitive. In the previous decade, the company has faced fines of €2.2 billion ($2.4 billion) for combining two or more products. Since then, the tech giant has taken measures to change its corporate policy in the EU in order to increase its compliance with the local regulatory framework.

Teams was added to Office 365 in 2017. Over time, this app replaced Skype for Business. The digital product became popular during the coronavirus pandemic due, among other things, to the provision of access to videoconferencing. In March, the tech giant announced its intention to release a new version of the app, which will be twice as fast.

As we have reported earlier, Microsoft Gives Out Free Cybersecurity Tools.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.