Microsoft to separate Office and Teams globally after years of criticism

Calvin D

Microsoft is set to roll out a refreshed version of its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscription services, making a significant change by not including Teams. This adjustment comes in light of criticism from the European Union regulator and objections from its competitor, Slack. The initiative is aimed at disaggregating a previously integrated suite of services.

Last year, in response to regulatory pressures and to address antitrust concerns in the EU and Switzerland, Microsoft consented to offer the Office 365 package without the Teams feature. The company initially bundled Teams with the Office 365 suite in 2017, positioning it as a complimentary addition.

Several businesses have voiced their concerns, suggesting that Microsoft's strategy of bundling these services provided it an undue edge in the market. Slack, which is under Salesforce's ownership, has openly criticized this practice as "illegal". They argue that Microsoft not only enforces the installation of Teams on its customers by leveraging its dominant position in the productivity software market but also conceals the actual cost associated with the chat and video conferencing service.

In correspondence with Reuters, Microsoft articulated that this new approach not only takes into account the stipulations laid out by the European Commission but also offers multinational corporations enhanced flexibility. This is particularly relevant for firms aiming to harmonize their procurement processes across different regions.

According to Reuters, Microsoft is scheduled to unveil these updated Office 365 offerings on Monday, though these changes had not yet been implemented at the time the information was published.