Office 365 is now Microsoft 365
From 21st April, Microsoft is rolling out a major rebranding of long-standing Office 365 products and in its place is Microsoft 365. This Microsoft re-branding promises simplified licensing plans for consumer and enterprise users alike and plans to expand on current features.
Rebranded Personal Products
Microsoft Office Personal and Home have now become Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions. Though designed for personal users and multiple people in the same family, they are suitable for small enterprises – freelancers, for example.
Small businesses using the Personal or Family subscriptions already know about the powerful AI-drive Editor available in Word and Outlook. It flags up spelling, grammar and conciseness errors, but the new edit will also include recommend acronyms, advice on formal/informal word use, and even inclusive language.
For PowerPoint, new features will help those who deliver webinars and engage in public speaking, while a new money management feature in Excel will help households and small businesses alike. Microsoft Teams, a conferencing app, will also become available.
Rebranded Enterprise Products
Office 365 subscriptions for SMEs and for larger enterprises has also had a revamp:
- What was once called Office 365 Business Essentials will change its name to Microsoft 365 Business Basic
- Similarly, Office 365 Business Premium will in future be called Microsoft 365 Business Standard
- Finally, Microsoft 365 Business will change its name to Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Further, those subscription plans previously called Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will be Microsoft 365 Apps. Microsoft will distinguish between those ‘for business’ and ‘for enterprise’.
Currently there are no major changes to the services included in these packages, just a new logo and name. But, going forward, we can expect a whole host of new features and apps available through Microsoft subscriptions. As the rollout begins, you can expect new features for Microsoft Teams, improving the virtual meeting experience in an age where Zoom leads the pack.
They have also promised improved storage and file sharing between users, making collaboration easier. Finally, Azure business users will be pleased to know that they will soon have access to all the P1 features. Some features are accessible through current Office 365 plans, but not all. To access the full range (which includes password free access, cloud app discovery and application proxy), businesses have had to buy a further subscription.
Why Do This Now?
Microsoft and its users can see this as the next step in Microsoft’s continued evolution and adaptation. 365 went on general release in 2017, it has since expanded into serval different packages, and this re-naming is a move to simplify user’s understanding of what each package contains. 365 was the first all-in-one package from Microsoft, adapting to the needs of the modern user – a cloud productivity solution. Now, using AI, machine learning and other developing technologies, they’re taking that into the new decade.
If you would like advice on which Microsoft package is best for your business, why not give our experienced team a call?