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Microsoft Teams Rooms Pro arrives: Here's what you need to know

Microsoft is once again rebranding its meeting-room management services and has changed prices.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has created two new tiers of its managed hybrid collaboration package Teams Rooms that replace the current Standard and Premium subscriptions. 

For the past two years, Microsoft has offered Teams Rooms Standard and Teams Rooms Premium, but as of this week the company will offer customers Teams Rooms Basic and Teams Rooms Pro.    

The service has the same proposition: to improve meetings for remote and in-person participants with assistance managing and servicing Teams Rooms devices, Teams displays, and Surface devices. But the change introduces cost, licensing and functionality differences and the Standard and Premium inclusions don't align exactly with the new Basic and Pro feature sets.  

Teams Rooms Standard costed $15 per device per month, while Teams Rooms Premium costed $50 per device per month. Teams Rooms Premium was differentiated with more features across security, management and support.

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Now, Teams admins can assign up to 25 Microsoft Teams Rooms Basic licenses to Teams Rooms devices for free but with a few less features than in the Standard subscription. Any number of devices beyond 25 requires Teams Rooms Pro at $40 per month per device. 

Microsoft explains in its Teams Rooms licensing document that the Basic license is tied to a single Teams rooms device in a room. "A Teams Rooms Basic license can be used to license a single certified Teams Rooms device in a room. If you want to log into more than one device in a room using the same resource account (for example, a Teams Rooms console, a Surface Hub, and a Teams panel), you need to use a Teams Rooms Pro license."

Microsoft is introducing several new features to Teams Rooms Pro, including the Front Row layout option, noise suppression, and bandwidth optimization. Front Row is one of the hybrid work enhancements Microsoft outlined in mid-2021.    

For Teams Rooms Pro, it's also bringing features from the personal Teams meetings such as wirelessly sharing content, raise hands, and live reactions. It's also bringing chat bubbles to the classic video grid layout, as well as real-time collaboration through Microsoft Whiteboard and Microsoft Surface Hub 2S. 

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Security features for Teams Rooms Pro include access control, remote configuration, device analytics, IT service management integration, and the managed service platform to automate firmware and software updates and detect issues.     

Teams Rooms Basic includes scheduling, joining meetings, content sharing, and collaborative white boarding, as well as "basic security and management capabilities". Pro features that the Basic tier lacks include: Microsoft 365 Phone System, PSTN calling, intelligent speaker support for live transcript with speaker identification, people counting, noise suppression, and more.  

Teams Rooms Basic is included free with the purchase of any certified Teams Rooms device from September 1, 2022, Microsoft notes in a blogpost

"Teams Rooms Basic provides foundational Teams meeting experiences like scheduling, joining meetings, and wireless content sharing. For customers needing core management and hybrid meeting features, we recommend Teams Rooms Pro," it notes.

Microsoft's features table for Teams Rooms Pro and Basic detail the differences

Nicole Herskowitz, vice president of Microsoft Teams, sees plenty of opportunity to bring Teams video meetings to businesses. She notes in a blogpost that more than 60% of the Fortune 500 use Teams Rooms, but less than 8% of the 90 million conference rooms worldwide are video-enabled.

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