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UPDATE: Microsoft forcing free Teams users to pay up or lose their data

Retirement of Microsoft Teams Free (classic) will occur on April 12

Since recently announcing Microsoft Teams Premium, Microsoft is now shaking things up and making changes to the subscription plans currently offered for the service. Microsoft will be retiring the current free version of Microsoft Teams Free, which they are now referring to as Microsoft Teams Free (classic) on April 12. Taking its place will be Microsoft Teams (free), but unfortunately there are no built-in options to transfer data between the current and upcoming versions. This means that free users will either have to create new accounts, which will result in them losing all their data, or upgrade to Microsoft Teams Essentials for $4 a month to keep their data.

The new Microsoft Teams (free) tier is quite similar to the version they are retiring, while the paid Microsoft Teams Essentials tier will offer unlimited group meetings up to 30 hours with up to 300 participants, as well as 10Gb of cloud storage. While it has more to offer than the (free) tier, it still lacks several key features when compared to Microsoft Teams Premium.


The following was originally published on Feb 2, 2023:

Microsoft has officially launched the new Premium tier for Microsoft Teams. The primary feature is integration with OpenAI GPT-3.5 AI language model, enabling a host of new options. To help with meetings, the OpenAI integration enables a new feature called intelligent recap, which automatically takes notes and highlights of a meeting for you, even if you are not present. Additionally, if you are mentioned by someone in a meeting, Teams Premium will automatically generate timeline markers to highlight when you were discussed.

See also: Logitech unveils immersive video-conferencing booth, Project Ghost

Other features of Teams Premium include custom meeting templates and watermarking. In business meetings that deal with sensitive or confidential content, Teams Premium can automatically watermark or label images and documents. If you want to go even further, you can set up Teams Premium to keep meeting attendees from screen recording or copying text.

Unfortunately, Microsoft is turning some current Teams features into Premium-only perks. These include several virtual appointment options, as well as live-generated captions. These features will still be available to regular Teams users for 30 and 60 more days, respectively, before they are turned into Premium exclusives.

Microsoft mentions that more Teams features, possibly for the base model as well as the Premium subscription, will continue rolling out through 2023. Microsoft Teams Premium is available now and is priced at $10 a month, though for a limited time users can access it now at an introductory price of $7 a month until June 30.

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