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The biggest attraction of these changes is the fact that Teams Rooms can now be used for free, thanks to Teams Rooms Basic plan. This is far from the Teams Rooms Standard, which charges $15 per device per month. This free plan will be automatically included when you purchase a Teams Rooms-certified device on or after September 1, and you can apply up to 25 Basic licenses to a single tenant.
On the other hand, while the Teams Rooms Basic plan looks attractive, it doesn’t come without flaws. Microsoft is stripping it off of some features available in its predecessor. For instance, it has no Intune management or Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 1. Also, Microsoft is adding the ability to check in with the Teams panel and join meetings across Teams clouds on Teams Rooms, but it is not available under Basic. This plan does not offer intelligent audio and video features, including intelligent speaker support for a live transcript with speaker identification, people counting, multiple camera support, AI noise suppression, and so on. It also lacks some security and compliance and device management features, which is reasonable, given the $15 charge will be dropped.
The Basic plan has a very limited set of capabilities, and as Microsoft puts it, it is only meant for “small businesses.” No core management and hybrid meeting features. With this, Microsoft’s message is clear: either you get a free plan with limited features or pay for the Teams Room Pro. This will push the existing Teams Rooms Standard subscribers to pay more to keep hold of the current features.
On a positive note, it is good news for those with Teams Rooms Premium since Microsoft has made Teams Room Pro more affordable. Currently, the former costs $50 per device each month, but it will now be reduced to $40 under Teams Room Pro, saving you $10 a month. Plus, you get all the features of the Teams Rooms. Some of the main highlights of this paid plan are complete access to all the intelligent audio and video, endpoint management with Microsoft Endpoint Manager, peripheral health management, device analytics, Microsoft 365 Phone System, and much more. If you want to compare the old and new plans, Microsoft posted their detailed comparisons.
Lastly, given these Teams Rooms Basic and Pro are new plans, you need to choose between them once your current license or Enterprise Agreement ends.