There’s now a new ‘premium’ version of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has announced that a premium service for its Teams collaboration platform is on the way as part of a staged rollout that will end in 2023.

At this year’s Microsoft Ignite event, the company explained that the optional premium add-on features for its video conferencing software will make meetings more personalized, intelligent, and secure. 

The Teams Premium preview will be available in December 2022. General availability will come in February 2023, while the most impressive features leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) will roll out in the first half of next year.

Microsoft Teams Premium features

“Intelligent recap” will allow AI to transcribe meetings, use recordings to label important moments, as well as chapters in meeting recordings for easy playback of relevant sections.

AI will also power real-time meeting transcriptions in 40 languages. Microsoft has stated that this will make meetings more inclusive. This is undoubtedly true, but it’s a shame the feature is locked behind a paid subscription after being previously announced for general release.

Advanced security features, such as watermarking documents and limiting recording permissions, will protect businesses from leaks. Microsoft 365 E5 customers will also be able to apply their existing Information Protection labels from Microsoft Purview to meetings, and apply appropriate restrictions.

Setting up meetings will also be easier, with users able to choose from a range of meeting types that will be customizable by IT teams, to get into meetings with the right settings in place much faster.

Webinars, which can already be organized across Microsoft 365, are also due an upgrade in Teams Premium. Users will have access to a registration waitlist with manual approval, automated email reminders, a virtual green-room, and control over what attendees see.

But it’s not just not internal company meetings that will see overhauls thanks to the new service. Business-to-consumer (B2C) engagements stand to gain too, thanks to an “advanced” personal appointment system that will allow for sending SMS reminders for meetings, a “branded lobby experience”, and organize scheduled as well as on-demand appointments.

Microsoft has clearly worked to make Teams Premium good value for businesses of all shapes and sizes. How much value remains to be seen, though, as Microsoft is yet to announce any pricing.

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