A lot has changed in the world, and a lot has changed for Office 365 since it launched in 2011. Recently, Microsoft decided to move ahead with a rebrand that will reshape and expand Office 365 into Microsoft 365.
Although it may sound like a simple name swap on the surface, the change can easily lead to confusion. The good news is, the title change solidifies Microsoft’s commitment to broadening its tools to serve small and large organizations, as well as individuals and families, through advanced cloud computing and AI technology.
In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about the change, including each specific product name change and how these changes will affect your business.
Office 365 name change
Office 365 will now be called Microsoft 365. This could be a source of confusion, since the ‘Microsoft 365’ name was already in use alongside Office 365: Office 365 was the original cloud-based suite of business apps like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint; Microsoft 365 was created later to name the more complete package of a Windows OS bundled with Office 365 and several other services, including AI/machine learning.
The two names have always created confusion, with a lot of people inadvertently calling Office 365 by the name Microsoft 365. It’s easy to see how the two products could be confused, especially when you learn that Microsoft 365 included Office 365. So the change to a single name is welcome.
The ‘new’ Microsoft 365
Microsoft claims to be rebranding Office 365 to better reflect the range of innovative cloud and AI offerings they have added to Office over the last few years, and the ones they will be adding in the future.
Office has always been primarily associated with the basics of business software: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. But it’s much more than that today. Newer apps like Teams are gaining popularity faster than ever before due to the sudden demand for cloud technologies required with remote work. For businesses of all sizes, Microsoft Teams facilitates communication in pairs, small groups, or as an entire workforce. With it, you can share, edit, and store files in one secure online space and collaborate as a team from any location.
Through this change, Microsoft 365 makes Teams available to everyone: The chat feature in Teams will now also be available to individuals, families, and friends, instead of catering to businesses and organizations as they did with Office 365.
Learn more in our Microsoft Teams beginner’s guide.
When does the Microsoft rebranding take effect?
The name change was announced March 30, 2020 and took effect on April 21, 2020.
List of plans and name changes
With this rebrand, you will see a number of name changes to Office products. A complete list of name changes are listed below:
- Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
- Office 365 Business Premium is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
- Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
- Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus are both now Microsoft 365 Apps. Where necessary, Microsoft will be using the “for business” and “for enterprise” labels to distinguish between the two.
It’s important to note that, at this time, there are no changes to the features of these products or their pricing; this is strictly a name change.
What Office 365 packages are not affected by the change to ‘M365’?
Office 365 for Enterprise
- Office 365 E1
- Office 365 E3
- Office 365 E5
Office 365 for Firstline Workers
- Office 365 F1
Office 365 for Education
- Office 365 A1
- Office 365 A3
- Office 365 A5
Office 365 for Government
- Office 365 G1
- Office 365 G3
- Office 365 G5
How does ‘M365’ affect your business?
Because of the name change, you might need to adjust some of your existing workflows and update your internal documentation. As of right now, this name change will have little effect on your individual business processes, but keep an eye out for Microsoft’s upcoming innovations.
The rebrand is a promising step for Microsoft as it looks to accommodate more types of businesses in new ways. As businesses look for cloud solutions to help them adapt to the present and look to the future, Microsoft is expanding its services and tools and making more of them available to everyone. It can be tough to adapt to change, but this is one change that’s welcome at a time when cloud solutions are needed most.
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Contact a COUPLE of GURUS if you want more information or require Microsoft 365 support. We will guide you through every step of the Microsoft 365 procurement process so you know you are getting the right package and add-ons for your organization’s needs and budget. We’ll also provide ongoing support so your software never stops delivering for your business.