You might have to start paying for Microsoft Teams soon - here's why

Microsoft Teams
(Image credit: Shutterstock / monticello)

Your business could soon end up paying more for its video conferencing platform if new proposals from Microsoft are approved.

The software giant has offered to start charging users with Office subscriptions more if they want to use Microsoft Teams as part of its attempts to avoid a major antitrust case in Europe.

The move could mean that users who want or need to use Microsoft Teams in order to communicate with co-workers, clients or customers may end up paying more for their Office subscription than those who go without.

Microsoft Teams in Office

Microsoft is facing a European Union (EU) probe following complaints that Teams dominates the instant messaging market due to its bundling with the widely-used Office software suite.

The complaint was raised by its great rival Slack, with the Salesforce-owned company first filing in 2020 that Teams was receiving an unfair advantage.

However, the EU says it has also received complaints from other companies, although it was not able to name them. "We have received several complaints regarding Microsoft, including by Slack, regarding Microsoft's conduct in relation to its Teams product. As you know the assessment is ongoing so we cannot comment further," a spokesperson said.

Speaking to Reuters, Microsoft said it continued to engage cooperatively with the Commission and was "open to pragmatic solutions that address its concerns and serve customers well".

Microsoft's suggestion follows a separate idea posited last month that proposed halting the bundling of Teams with its office software, which it says could also help encourage competition.

Opinion - should you pay extra for Microsoft Teams?

Is it worth paying extra for Microsoft Teams? That could soon be the question on your CIO's mind when considering the IT budget.

On the face of it, it could be an easy decision. If your company is established on Microsoft 365, Office and Teams, then keeping the status quo seems to be the smart move. Microsoft is constantly updating and tweaking Teams to give it extra functionality and productivity too, ensuring it remains useful and intuitive for users everywhere.

But with many companies keeping a wary eye on budgets owing to global financial instability, it could be that unplanned extras such as a Microsoft Teams subscription are the first expenses to go. There are plenty of alternatives around, and even some free services - if you're feeling bold enough to move away from the crowd.

Given Microsoft Office's hold over many businesses though, when it comes to Teams, it could well be a case of better the devil you know, and paying the price.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.