May 24, 2024

Microsoft is making “proactive adjustments” to the way it gives Groups in an effort to forestall additional EU antitrust measures.

The EU has been scrutinizing Microsoft’s bundling of Groups with Microsoft 365 and Workplace 365, following complaints by Slack that the Microsoft’s techniques give it an unfair benefit. The EU introduced a proper investigation in late July, prompting Microsoft’s most up-to-date adjustments.

Nanna-Louise Linde, Vice President, Microsoft European Authorities Affairs, introduced the adjustments in a weblog put up:

At present we’re asserting proactive adjustments that we hope will begin to deal with these considerations in a significant approach, even whereas the European Fee’s investigation continues and we cooperate with it. These adjustments will affect our Microsoft 365 and Workplace 365 suites for enterprise clients within the European Financial Space and Switzerland. They’re designed to handle two considerations which can be central to the Fee’s investigation: (1) that clients ought to be capable to select a enterprise suite with out Groups at a value lower than these with Groups included; and (2) that we should always do extra to make interoperability simpler between rival communication and collaboration options and Microsoft 365 and Workplace 365 suites.

Earlier than providing extra particulars, let me present some added context. We imagine that enterprise clients in Europe and world wide count on a contemporary work answer to incorporate fashionable communication and collaboration capabilities. That’s why, for greater than a decade, we’ve included these capabilities in our enterprise suites, beginning with Workplace Communicator in 2007 and evolving and innovating over time via Lync, Skype for Enterprise On-line, and most lately Microsoft Groups.

On the similar time, we acknowledge our duty as a significant know-how supplier to help a wholesome aggressive setting. We respect the readability that has emerged on a number of of the considerations from intensive and constructive discussions with the European Fee. With the advantage of this readability, we imagine it will be important that we begin to take significant steps to handle these considerations. We do that not with the sense that this can essentially resolve all considerations, whether or not from the Fee or our opponents, however we imagine this can be a constructive step that may begin to result in instant and significant adjustments out there.

Transferring ahead, Microsoft will unbundle Groups efficient October 1, 2023. The corporate will even work to enhance interoperability between Microsoft 365/Workplace 365 and different platforms. Lastly, the corporate will make it attainable for firms to host Workplace net apps on competing platforms.

Solely time will inform if these measures will probably be sufficient to stave off additional EU motion.