Microsoft Decouples Teams from Office Worldwide

Microsoft on April 1, 2024, announced to sell its chat and video app Teams separately from its Office product globally, following a similar move made six months earlier in Europe. This decision comes after an investigation by the European Commission into Microsoft's bundling of Office and Teams, prompted by a complaint from competitor Slack in 2020. Despite Teams' popularity, particularly during the pandemic, rivals have argued that packaging the products together gives Microsoft an unfair advantage, leading the company to unbundle the two products in Europe in October 2023.

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While Microsoft's previous concessions regarding its dominance in the Windows platform had significant impacts on the browser market in the late 1990s, analysts believe that the separation of Teams from Office may not have as dramatic an effect, considering the entrenched nature of Teams in enterprise workflows. However, Microsoft is introducing new commercial Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites without Teams in regions outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, alongside a standalone Teams offering for Enterprise customers in those regions, signaling a strategic shift in its product lineup.

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