Microsoft Teams pricing changes will be a gift for some, but not for others

Microsoft has announced changes to the pricing structure for Teams Rooms, its collaboration service for in-office meeting spaces.

In place of the existing Standard and Premium plans, which cost $15/£11.30 and $50/£37.70 per device per month, the company will offer two new packages: Teams Rooms Basic and Teams Rooms Pro.

The Basic plan is included for free with the purchase of any Teams Room-certified device (scaling up to 25 devices total), and the latter will cost $40/user/month. TechRadar Pro is awaiting confirmation of UK pricing.

Microsoft Teams Room Pro

Although Microsoft has rebranded its Teams Rooms offering, the ambition remains the same: to provide businesses with the tools they need to support new hybrid working and video conferencing use cases.

“The future of work is flexible. Now more than ever organizations need a single, integrated experience that makes working together easier and more engaging for their employees whether they are all in the same room, remote, or – for many of us – a mix of both,” wrote Microsoft, in a blog post.

“Enabling truly great hybrid meetings and collaboration has gone from nice to have to must have. Because of this, Microsoft is happy to announce changes to Microsoft Teams Rooms, making it easier to start your hybrid journey.”

The main difference between the free and paid plans is the sophistication of the features available. Although Teams Rooms Basic will allow smaller companies to schedule and attend meetings, it lacks the management and security functionality available with Teams Rooms Pro.

The paid version is also said to offer a wider array of in-meeting features and functionality. For example, the service includes a broader range of video layout options, improved noise suppression and under-the-hood features that improve performance. It also comes bundled with features like live reactions, designed to increase the level of engagement.

Whether or not the new arrangement will represent a cost saving will vary from customer to customer, by virtue of the switch from a per device to a per user subscription model. For a mid-sized company whose fleet of Teams Rooms devices is far smaller than the number of employees, the new plan may work out to be more expensive.

Customers currently on legacy Standard and Premium plans will be migrated over to the new Teams Rooms pricing structure once their existing subscription term has come to an end.

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