Microsoft Teams surpasses 320 million active monthly users amid pressure from rivals to unbundle the service from Office

Microsoft Teams web client on Edge
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently announced that Microsoft Teams is being used by over 320 million active monthly users worldwide.
  • This is after the company shipped its new Teams app to broad availability for Windows and Mac.
  • The company boasts that the new app is two times faster and consumes 50% less disk space when compared to the classic app.
  • This news comes amid pressure from its rivals and the EU Commission to unbundle Microsoft Teams from Microsoft Office.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic a few years back, many organizations embraced the work-from-home approach and hybrid work to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus. This resulted in an increased demand for video-conferencing and communications platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, and more. 

Microsoft seized this opportunity and has been pushing updates as well as nifty features to the platform ever since. The company recently announced that Microsoft Teams has achieved a major milestone. According to a spot by Neowin, the video-conferencing tool is being used by over 320 million active monthly users worldwide.

This news comes shortly after Microsoft shipped its new Teams app to general availability for Windows and Mac users. The company boasts that the new app is two times faster and consumes 50% less disk space when compared to the classic app. It also features Copilot in Teams, an AI-powered designed to enhance user experience by summarizing meetings. 

While users can still access the classic version of the app, Microsoft intends to transition them to the new app in the next few months as the classic app is set to be retired by the end of June 2024. 

What's more, the new Teams app now features almost all the capabilities you love from the classic version. While announcing the broad availability of the app, Microsoft's product lead, Anupam Pattnaik stated:

"New Teams now has full feature parity for almost all features, including custom line-of-business apps, third-party apps, breakout rooms, 7x7 video, call queues, PSTN calling, contextual search in chats and channels, cross-post a channel conversation, and more. We have focused on providing high-quality performance and enhancing the basics in areas such as reliability, security, and IT management to make sure that new Teams meet the evolving requirements of your organization."

Microsoft is shipping new features exclusively to the new Teams app and urges users still running the classic version of the app to make the transition to access these neat features.

Microsoft Teams unbundling from Office 

Office 365 apps on WC background

(Image credit: Windows Central)

During the pandemic, Salesforce-owned Slack filed a complaint accusing Microsoft of engaging in anti-competitive practices by bundling Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office. Microsoft responded to the claims by unbundling Teams from Office in the Economic Area and Switzerland, effective October 1, 2023.

The company set the price for Microsoft Teams as a standalone service at €5 per month or €60 per year. But this doesn't seem enough to quench its rival's thirst. A recent report indicated that the EU Commission issued questionnaires to Microsoft's rivals asking whether the company's move to unbundle Microsoft Teams from Microsoft Office addressed their concerns.

It's still unclear what the commission's next move will be after analyzing the questionnaires. But speculations indicate that it'll use the data to build a statement of objections, which will be sent to Microsoft early next year.

Elsewhere, the commissions also asked Microsoft to provide it with detailed and comprehensive feedback from potential customers, citing how their business would run while leveraging Microsoft services bundled with the pricing of products with and without Microsoft Teams

Office could potentially lose its unique selling point if Microsoft is pressured to unbundle Microsoft Teams from the service entirely. Most people are inclined towards Microsoft Office because it comes as a package, granting users access to a host of productivity tools.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft unbundling Teams from Office? Let us know in the comments.

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year

Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year
Microsoft 365 Personal comes with the Office suite and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It allows you to work from several devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also includes a long list of other apps and services, such as Editor, Microsoft Forms, and Microsoft Teams.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • wojtek
    oh, look! a monopolist is boasting about forced tool having huge user base!

    who would have known... I'm shocked!