The next generation of Microsoft Teams could be here sooner than expected

Microsoft has revealed that the Premium version of its Teams collaboration tool will be generally available from “early February 2023”.

First unveiled in October 2022, the upgraded version of Microsoft Teams looks to offer a higher level of support, as well as some unique features and tools for those willing to splash the cash.

This includes a number of reported new features powered by Microsoft’s latest artificial intelligence (AI) platforms, to help address some of the biggest issues with video conferencing calls.

Changes to Teams licencing

Microsoft made the announcement on its Partner Center, while promising that new features would continue to be added to the commercial preview, which has been available since December 2022, throughout January 2023. 

However, the advent of a new price plan for Teams also coincides with several features currently available as part of standard licenses becoming exclusive to Teams Premium.

In December 2022, Microsoft wrote in its documentation for Teams that the features being moved from Teams licenses include live translated captions, timeline markers in meeting recordings showing when a user joined or left a meeting and custom organization Together mode scenes.

Should they decide not to upgrade, admins will miss out on several features relating to Virtual Appointments, including SMS notifications, organizational analytics in the Teams Admin Center, and a scheduled queue view.

This is less than ideal, but the company has deigned to continue to allow organizations on Teams licenses access to these features for 30 days after Teams Premium becomes generally available.

After that, users will immediately lose access to these features and, alongside other Teams Premium features such as custom templates and meeting backgrounds, will be grayed out and unusable.

A month-long grace period, after which you’re dead to it, appears to be the extent of Microsoft’s generosity. So far, the commercial preview has only been available for 25 licenses per organization, and, “at general release”, it won’t offer discounts for education.

 Check out our list of the best Microsoft Teams alternatives right now 

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