Microsoft has told its partner community that unbundling Teams from its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suites was a compromise – an alteration to the language it used when announcing the change.
Microsoft decided to unbundle its comms client after the European Commission launched an investigation into whether bundling Teams with Microsoft’s flagship productivity bundles represented “anticompetitive tying or bundling.”
The Windows colossus blinked and decided to offer versions of its suites without Teams before the Commission’s investigation ended. At the time Microsoft’s blog stated: “We believe these changes balance the interests of our competitors with those of European business customers, providing them with access to the best possible solutions at competitive prices.”
But in a document [PDF] marked “Partners Only” that The Register was able to download from Microsoft without entering channel partner credentials, the software giant offers a different explanation: “… these changes are a compromise intended to address concerns raised with the European Commission while limiting disruption for customers, partners, and sellers.”
The document also suggests the current unbundling may not be the end of the matter.
“In our view, customers can realize the greatest value by purchasing the full Microsoft 365 suite including Teams,” the document states, adding “We will continue to cooperate with the Commission and remain committed to finding solutions that will address its concerns while limiting disruption for customers and partners.”
One of the questions in the document is “If this licensing model is so good for customers, why isn’t Microsoft offering…