The classic and free Microsoft Teams will no longer be available for users and small businesses as of April 12, 2023. The technology giant has announced to retire the older version of Teams and users will be required to start paying to maintain access to their chats and data.
The move comes after the recent introduction of a premium tier of Teams, which includes features like personalised highlights, customised meeting templates and auto-generated meeting notes. This new tier is powered by OpenAI technology and incorporates AI capabilities.
According to a report by Windows Central (Via The Verge), users won’t be given any direct migration path from the classic version of Teams to the new (free) version. This means that users and small businesses will have to switch to the paid version of Teams to maintain access to their data and continue using the platform.
The current free version of Teams which is available for small businesses will continue to run but with a rebranded name. It will be called Microsoft Teams Free. To understand these changes in a better way, take it from here. The current free version of Microsoft Teams which is meant for small businesses will be called “Microsoft Teams Free (classic).” This version will die on April 12, 2023.
The company says that in case you wish to continue using the free version of Teams, you can sign up for new Microsoft Teams (free) again. But it will have one major limitation which is your data will not be transferred from the older free version to the newer one. To keep your existing files, you can manually save and transfer them to new account but that can be a cumbersome task for some people. Microsoft recommends to upgrade to the paid Teams Essentials tier to continue access to your data.
“After the switch, however, you’ll have access to a different set of features than you did with Teams Free (classic), and your data won’t be retained (including data for existing channels, chats, and recurring meetings). If you want to keep your data and continue using Teams, consider upgrading to Teams Essentials,” Microsoft mentions in its FAQ section on its Support page.
Microsoft has introduced two paid tiers for Teams- Teams Essentials or Microsoft 365. The ending of the classic version of Teams will likely have a significant impact on users and small businesses. While the paid version of Teams will have more features, the extra cost could be a burden for those who have been long relying on the free version.
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