Microsoft plans to unbundle Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365

The move comes months after Microsoft removed Teams from Office in Europe.
Written by Don Reisinger, Contributing Writer
Microsoft Teams and Copilot

Microsoft is unbundling its Teams messaging app from Microsoft 365 and Office 365.

On Monday, the company said that Teams will no longer be included in its productivity suite and will instead sell the messaging platform on its own for $5.25 per user per month. Microsoft will also now offer Office without Teams for between $7.75 and $54.75 per user per month.

Microsoft Teams is the tech giant's answer to popular Salesforce-owned platform Slack. Used widely around the world, Teams lets users send messages, share files, and hold video conference calls. Microsoft used to offer its business customers Skype for Business for video calls but ultimately shifted to Teams in 2017.

Also: Microsoft Teams will merge into single app for work and personal

Microsoft's move to bundle Teams with Office was met with criticism from competitors who believe the company is using its near-dominant position in the office productivity market to beat Slack, which isn't tied to a productivity suite. In July 2020, Slack filed a complaint in the European Union against Microsoft, saying that bundling Teams with Office gave Microsoft an unfair advantage.

While the EU is still investigating Microsoft's Teams implementation, Microsoft announced plans to unbundle Teams from Office across the bloc in August 2023. The move was an attempt to quell any concerns the European Union's competition watchdog, the European Commission, may have had with its Teams implementation. Microsoft's decision on Monday may have been another step toward mitigating complaints Slack and others may have with Microsoft's Teams integration worldwide.

In a statement to Reuters on Monday, Microsoft stopped short of saying its decision was due to the European Commission's investigation. The company did, however, acknowledge that the investigation had at least something to do with the move, saying in a statement to Reuters that its decision "addresses feedback from the European Commission by providing multinational companies more flexibility when they want to standardize their purchasing across geographies."

The stakes are high for Microsoft. If the European Commission decides that the company is engaging in anti-competitive behavior, the regulator could fine Microsoft up to 10% of its annual revenue. Microsoft generated a record $211 billion in revenue in 2023.

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