Microsoft postpones death date for personally licensed Teams Rooms hardware

The 'upgrade' is free, yet an amnesty is needed despite months of warning

Microsoft's bid to have customers of Teams Rooms hardware acquire corporate licenses is going so well – not! – that the software giant has extended the deadline to sign up by 90 days, even though the move involves price reductions.

Teams Rooms hardware is built by third parties – such as Lenovo and Logitech – and comprises kit like microphones, soundbars, and desk phones that pack screens and cameras. As the name implies, Teams Rooms devices are designed to go in meeting rooms in which folks gather to collaborate using Teams. But owning a license for Teams does not automatically confer a right to run Teams Rooms hardware.

Microsoft has up to now allowed users of these devices to log in to Teams with personal credentials. For months, though, it has warned that a commercial license will be needed, or else the Teams Rooms hardware will brick on July 1 – this coming Saturday at the time of writing.

Those commercial licenses can even be free. In August 2022, Redmond dropped the price of the Standard tier of Teams Room license from $15 to $0. A Pro tier dropped from $50 to $40 per month.

But customers – and the partners who serve them and transact licenses – appear not to have rushed to spend in the face of that deadline. On Monday Microsoft advised its channel of an extension.

"While we remain steadfast in our objective of ensuring a secure and compliant use of Microsoft Teams Rooms devices, we also acknowledge the need for adequate time to address migration issues," The patient titan advised its partners. "Therefore, we're granting more time to allow you to help your customers complete their transitions smoothly.

"To ensure a seamless transition for our partners and customers, Microsoft has decided to provide a 90-day grace period on the Microsoft Teams Rooms Licensing Enforcement. The grace period will begin on July 1, 2023, and end on September 30, 2023."

Once the latter date passes, Microsoft warns, failure to sign up to new licenses "could result in disruption to your Teams Rooms experience, including the ability to join meetings or make calls, depending on the device type."

Some readers may not think that's an entirely bad thing. ®

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