Office 365 becomes Microsoft 365

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As Windows-powered phone users, we're used to Office applications and services being on our devices, and for free, but in the wider world many of us also subscribe to 'Office 365', for our personal use or for a small business, giving extra cloud-based functionality and backup, plus 1TB of storage per user. Tremendously useful. And as of April 21st, this is being renamed by Microsoft to - well - 'Microsoft 365'. In theory simplifying things in the long run.

Going forward, Microsoft will use the 'Microsoft 365' brand for 'Office 365' subscriptions for consumers, small and medium-sized businesses. It announced the following name changes:

  • Office 365 Home will become Microsoft 365 Family.
  • Office 365 Personal will become Microsoft 365 Personal.
  • Office 365 Business Essentials will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
  • Office 365 Business Premium will become Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
  • Microsoft 365 Business will become Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
  • Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will both become Microsoft 365 Apps. 

So yes, 'simplified'. Ahem. Simple enough for consumers but confusing for businesses, I contend!

Microsoft emphasises that these are simply name changes. The same pricing will apply, and - in the long run - extra benefits will make Microsoft 365 even more appealing, with integration between Office, Outlook, Family Safety, and now Teams (for consumers) bringing benefits, as teased in this promo video, which is well worth a watch:

As to why the rebrand, Microsoft says:

First, we want our products to reflect the range of features and benefits in the subscription. Microsoft 365 is an integrated set of apps and services that puts AI and other cutting-edge innovations to work for you. And for small and medium-sized businesses, that includes new capabilities in Microsoft Teams to help you host rich meetings and events online; cloud file storage and sharing capabilities so you can collaborate from anywhere; and security and identity solutions to safeguard your businesses. Second, we’re always looking for ways to simplify. This new approach to naming our products is designed to help you quickly find the plan you need and get back to your business.

Which is true unless you have a business, in which case it's Microsoft Business Premium Standard Basic err... Essentials. Methinks a spreadsheet or grid of some kind would be easier, Microsoft.

You can learn more about Microsoft 365 for home here.