This article is about Microsoft’s change in licensing Teams Rooms Systems. The licensing change was already announced prior to Microsoft Ignite 2022, in September 2022. If you visit your Teams Admin Center (TAC) you should probably also see what I get displayed, a highlighted announcement. It tells you that there are two new licenses for Microsoft Teams Room (Systems). Up to 25 Teams Room Basic licenses for free with core features and Teams Rooms Pro licenses covering enhanced features in meetings, for management and security.

Source: Microsoft Teams Admin Center Dashboard (2022-11-02)

Which devices require a Teams Room license?

  • Teams Rooms for Windows (MTRoW)
  • Teams Rooms for Android (MTRoA)
  • Surface Hub

What’s included in Teams Room licenses?

The following table based on Microsoft’s documentation shows the features included in both:

Feature / license Teams Rooms BasicTeams Rooms Pro
Maximum number of licenses25None
Microsoft Teamsincludedincluded
Audio Conferencing1includedincluded
Whiteboardincludedincluded
Teams PhoneNOT INCLUDEDincluded
IntuneNOT INCLUDEDincluded
AAD Premium P1NOT INCLUDEDincluded
SFB Plan 2NOT INCLUDEDincluded
Source: Microsoft Teams Rooms licenses – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Learn

What is going to happen in case I stay with user licenses instead of Teams Room licenses?

Your Teams Room Systems (accounts) are blocked from login beyond July 1, 2023. In consequence of the fact that the login is blocked you will not be able to utilize the Teams Room (system).

Source: Microsoft Teams Rooms licenses – Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Learn (2022-11-02)

Legacy Teams Room licenses are not transitioned automatically, i.e. you need to plan for the licensing transition and execute the transition to the new licenses. Also Teams Basic licenses must be assigned via the Microsoft 365 admin center.

What’s the difference regarding features?

As the name implies the Teams Room Basic license enables a Team Room for core meeting capabilities and no fancy meeting and management features (no front row video, no together mode, no large gallery view, no dual screen support, no content camera capturing, no room check-in with a Teams Room Panel, no intelligent audio and video features, no dial tone/pstn calls …)

You can find more details and feature comparison tables in the referenced documentation.

What about pricing?

  • The Teams Room Basic license is for free, up to 25 licenses.
  • Whereas the Teams Room Pro license is 40 USD $ / 33,70 € per room and per month.

Please note that prices are subject to change any time and are just mentioned to provide a indication and information. Mentioned prices are not binding at all.

Conclusion, opinion and summary

Microsoft is developing and developing features for Teams Rooms and putting lots of effort in to make hybrid workplaces really attractive and inclusive. It is impressive what features are available for Teams Room systems and what’s next as well. However, the price gap is now huge, in my opinion. Prior to Teams Room Basic (0 $ room/month, < 25pcs) and Pro (40 $ room/month) there were the Teams Room Standard (15 $ room/month) or Teams Room Premium (50 $ room/month; Microsoft managed meeting room) licenses available at another price. For the license transition companies utilizing Teams Room Standard licenses need to decide between Basic or Pro but this is no easy decision just based on the price tag in times where everything is getting more expensiv. The question should be how many Teams Rooms are there and how are they utilized today? And what’s the anticipated utilization in the future? Are there any Teams Room adoption campaigns implemented to increase Teams Room utilization? Is there medium to high utilization, today? Is a steady or even growing utilization for the future expected due to more hybrid meetings, more people in the office? Depending on these questions and other considerations you could decide on what licenses you purchase or subscribe. I’d say that mostly Teams Pro is the license to go with because it offers all features and chances for better user adoption including advanced management in regards of Teams Rooms. The Basic license could be the one for low frequented Teams Rooms or companies who start with Teams Rooms if there is no trial for the Pro available.

Additional resources