The new free app won’t keep old chats or meetings of users who switch to a paid subscription.

Now that Microsoft has launched its Teams Premium service, it’s changing the free app to work – and not everyone will be happy. On April 12, the company is discontinuing the existing free version of Teams for small businesses in favor of Teams with a similar title, and legacy data won’t be carried over. Businesses that use the service will have to pay at least for the Teams Essentials plan ($4 per user per month) to keep chats, meetings, channels and other key information.

Teams Premium offers AI-generated chapters in PowerPoint Live and “custom timeline markers for when you leave and join a meeting,” Engadget wrote on the topic.

Live captioned translations are also currently available. In the coming months, Teams Premium will be able to automatically generate meeting notes using GPT-3.5. Users will also have access to suggestions for tasks and actions generated by artificial intelligence. Microsoft will likely expand Teams Premium’s AI features over time.

Companies with business accounts will either have to start paying or lose access to past discussions, not to mention the headache of dealing with recreating their channel settings.

That won’t necessarily get customers to switch to alternatives like Slack, especially if they’re heavily invested in Microsoft’s ecosystem. It may, however, cause teams to reevaluate their plans if they can’t justify many paid services.

Earlier, the company introduced the Azure OpenAI service for developers, as well as a tool that helps beginners create their own apps, and a graphic design app that are powered by OpenAI technology. Microsoft is rumored to be embedding ChatGPT, OpenAI’s amazingly popular chatbot, into Bing.


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