In hopes of encouraging more users to use the newer free version of Teams, Microsoft is giving Teams (free) version a set of new features via the February 2023 update. The announcement came as the retirement date of the company’s legacy Teams Free (classic) version nears in April.
Microsoft Teams (free) version is receiving four features for this month’s update, according to Microsoft. For the web and desktop, users will have the new ability to include Teams for work or school account users to meetings created on the desktop in Teams (free). Synced contacts will also now include the individuals the users have interacted with on Google before.
Meanwhile, mobile users of Microsoft Teams (free) will get an option to allow their community events to recur by selecting the new function added to the community event creation. Lastly, although small, Microsoft added a function that will notify new community owners when they get promoted.
The update and the addition of the said features are aimed at making Microsoft Teams (free) version more attractive to free users of the service. Earlier in February, we reported Microsoft’s plan to retire the Microsoft Teams Free (classic) version on April 12. It is a legacy free version of Teams, which the company wants to replace with the Microsoft Teams (free) version.
This new version is still dedicated to personal and small business users, but the problem with this switch is the retaining of data. According to Microsoft, moving from the legacy Microsoft Teams Free (classic) version to Microsoft Teams (free) version doesn’t include an option for users to automatically migrate their data, including those for existing channels, chats, and recurring meetings. With this, the company suggests applying for the paid Teams Essentials tier in order to maintain their access to their existing data.
“Designed specifically with small- and medium-sized businesses in mind, Teams Essentials is the newest version of Teams, which you can purchase separately from Microsoft 365 offerings,” Microsoft says on its FAQ. “After April 12, 2023, Microsoft will no longer support Teams Free (classic). By upgrading to Teams Essentials by that date, you’ll maintain access to your data.”