Official: Microsoft unbundles Teams in Europe

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Microsoft has blinked first successful its conflict pinch nan EU complete bundling Teams pinch Microsoft 365 and Office 365, and will now let European customers to bargain nan 2 package suites without it. It besides pledged to make it easier for rival gathering devices to activity pinch nan 2 suites.

The European Commission announced successful July that it was kicking disconnected a formal investigation into whether nan bundling of nan Teams collaboration instrumentality pinch Office 365 and Microsoft 365 by nan Redmond elephantine was successful breach of EU title rules.

Microsoft's latest move is to make "proactive changes" it hopes will reside nan EC's concerns, moreover arsenic nan general investigation continues. The institution said it will proceed to cooperate throughout.

In an announcement connected its EU Policy blog, Microsoft said that from October 1 it will unbundle Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365 for business customers successful nan European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The EEA includes EU personnel states positive those countries successful nan European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

Office 365 is simply a cloud-based suite of apps and services including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, while Microsoft 365 besides includes nan Windows 10 OS.

The suites will now beryllium sold successful typical EEA editions for €2 ($2.17) little per period aliases €24 ($26.07) little per year, while Teams will beryllium disposable for caller endeavor customers to bargain separately astatine a database value of €5 ($5.43) per period aliases €60 ($65.21) per year.

Existing endeavor customers for Microsoft 365 aliases Office 365 tin elite to enactment pinch their existent type of nan suite aliases move to a type without Teams, nan institution said.

For mini businesses and frontline workers, Microsoft will connection versions of nan suites some pinch and without Teams, nan second versions coming astatine a little price. Updated pricing specifications are available connected a Microsoft web page.

In addition, nan package elephantine said it will return steps to make it easier for third-party collaboration and gathering devices to merge pinch Office 365 and Microsoft 365.

Microsoft already allows companies for illustration Zoom and Salesforce to create tailored and integrated experiences, but said it has received feedback that it could do much successful position of providing support and making improvement easier.

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However, this chiefly appears to comprise of efforts to make exertion developers much alert of nan existing publically disposable exertion programming interfaces (APIs) and extensibility successful Microsoft 365 and Office 365 apps and services that link pinch Teams.

Microsoft besides pledged create caller ways for different developers to big nan Office web applications wrong their ain apps and services, successful a akin mode to nan measurement Microsoft handles this successful Teams.

The institution said that it believes nan changes "balance nan interests of our competitors pinch those of European business customers," but will it beryllium capable to person nan European Commission that it is gathering nan rules connected adjacent title successful nan marketplace?

We asked nan committee itself for a reaction, but it appears that it is keeping its cards adjacent to its thorax astatine nan moment. A spokesperson told us: "We return statement of Microsoft's announcement. We person nary further remark to make."

But nan Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers successful Europe (CISPE) waste and acquisition group was little reticent.

"This concession by Microsoft shows that, erstwhile faced pinch regulatory pressure, it tin beryllium persuaded to do nan correct thing," Secretary General Francisco Mingorance said successful a connection sent to The Register.

CISPE, on pinch AWS, is already pursuing its ain complaint pinch nan EC against Microsoft complete anti-competitive licensing policies for moving Microsoft package connected unreality platforms different than its ain Azure cloud.

Mingorance claimed that CISPE's investigation indicates that Microsoft's unreality licensing tin make it arsenic overmuch arsenic 28 percent much costly to run nan company's package connected third-party unreality infrastructure compared to Azure.

He said that unbundling Teams is "just nan extremity of nan iceberg" erstwhile compared pinch nan galore European businesses and nationalist assemblage organizations facing "Microsoft's exclusionary practices" erstwhile moving to nan cloud. ®