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February 20, 2023

Microsoft Teams (Free) is retiring

Microsoft has decided to retire its MS Teams Free (classic) app.

MS Teams, released in 2017, is a communication platform where users chat and call each other over the Internet. While the primary concept is nothing new, the innovation comes with bells and whistles included. It aims to be a collaborative platform.

The product is available in both paid and free versions. The company recently announced that it would retire the free version.

When will the ms teams free (classic) version be retired?

Microsoft will retire the MS Teams Free (classic) version on April 12, 2023. The app is no longer available and data is deleted. That means organizations using the program now need a transition plan.

What to do.

Organizations using MS Teams Free (classic) have several options for switching. Microsoft’s first and understandably most promoted option is to upgrade your Teams subscription.

Two paid versions are available:

  • Teams Essentials
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Essentials is a simple option. Allows you to keep all your files, chats, teams and meetings in one cloud storage. Plus, you get 300 participants per meeting, 10 GB of storage per user and unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours. Who meets for 30 consecutive hours? We don’t want to be the ones who know. This upgrade costs $4 per user per month.

The decommissioning of MS Teams Free may be an opportunity for your organization to switch to MS 365 Business Basic. It is a complete productivity suite built for small to medium-sized businesses. For $6 per user per month, you get access to everything listed above, plus the following:

  • Recordings with transcription
  • MS 365 productivity apps such as Word and Excel
  • Managing customer appointments
  • 1 TB of cloud storage per user

If your organization is not yet ready to invest in paid productivity platforms, you still have the option to download and use the new Microsoft Teams Free app. Yes, they maintain a free version with:

  • Unlimited group meetings up to one hour
  • Up to one hundred participants
  • 5 GB cloud storage per user

The caveat is that it will use a new account. This means that any data you have stored in your classic Teams will not be transferred to the new one.

Whatever you choose, it is wise to start downloading and backing up all the data on your classic Teams after reading this section. If you are interested in alternatives to MS Teams, read on.

Microsoft Teams alternatives

We would be remiss to discuss MS Teams alternatives without mentioning Zoom. It is a communication platform for chats and conversations. Key features include meeting recording, instant messaging during video calls and cloud phone solutions. It can also be linked to your Google Calendar.

If you are interested in Google products, their Meet platform integrates with other systems such as Gmail, Calendar and more. It is a web-based platform, which means you can use it in any modern browser.

Now don’t forget to back up your Teams data.

Source: panurgy

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