As effective from 21st April 2020, Microsoft is rebranding its cloud-based productivity suite, Office 365, as Microsoft 365. Office 365 was launched in the year 2011 as a complete offering to Home, Business, and Enterprise users and ran on subscription-based payments.
This change in the naming convention reflects Microsoft’s strategy of bringing all its products under one common name to avoid any confusion among its users.
According to Microsoft, their customers find it challenging to understand and decide what plan is suitable for them. Inconsistencies in names meant that Microsoft and its partners had to spend a substantial amount of time explaining to their customers how all the plans differed and what would be more useful to them.
This change in product names has aligned them into 3 bundles majorly – Home, Business, and Enterprise.
Here is a summary of the products whose names have now been changed –
1. Office 365 ProPlus will now be called Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise
2. Office 365 Business will now be called Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
3. Office 365 Business Essentials will now be called Microsoft 365 Business Basic
4. Office 365 Business Premium will now be called Microsoft 365 Business Standard
5. Microsoft 365 Business will now be called Microsoft 365 Business Premium
6. Office 365 Personal will now be called Microsoft 365 Personal
7. Office 365 Home will now be called Microsoft 365 Family
Apart from these products, there are a few other products whose names have not been changed due to some unexplainable reason such as – Office 365 for Enterprise (E1, E3, E5), Office 365 for Education (A1, A3, A5), Office 365 for Firstline Workers (F1, F3)), and Office 365 for Government plans (G1, G3, G5).
This change in the names of products has aligned them into 3 bundles majorly – Home, Business, and Enterprise.
- Microsoft 365 for Home
– Microsoft 365 Family
– Microsoft 365 Personal
– Office 365 Home and Student
- Microsoft 365 for Business
– Microsoft 365 Business Basic
– Microsoft 365 Business Standard
– Microsoft 365 Business Premium
– Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
- Microsoft 365 for Enterprise
– Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise
– Office 365 E1
– Office 365 E3
– Office 365 E5
These changes in the names of products are a business strategy and do not indicate any changes in the pricing structure and the features offered by any of these plans. The Office suite – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, remains an integral part of every Microsoft product. It is also important to note that none of the plans are going away.
For all the existing users of this Microsoft suite, there is nothing that they have to do from their end. Their subscription remains the same, with only a change of name being reflected at their end automatically. Furthermore, any additional update or feature can be enjoyed as and when Microsoft releases them.
The success of this step for Microsoft can only be determined with time. But, for now, all their customers can continue to enjoy their services and features with new names.