Office 365 For SMBs Is Being Rebranded: What It Means
Microsoft has just recently announced its new subscriptions, Personal and Family, for Microsoft 365—Office 365’s successor.
While the Personal and Family plans were announced with a large degree of press attention, slipping under the radar somewhat were additional changes to Office 365 for small and midsize businesses.
All Office 365 subscriptions will be using the Microsoft 365 brand from April 21, 2020.
Let’s take a look at what this means and exactly what changes are being made to your subscriptions.
Evolution of the Microsoft 365 Brand
The Microsoft 365 brand has been seeing a significant push in the last year, made clearer by eagle-eyed users noting the Office products began dropping the Office brand in favor of the Microsoft brand last fall.
Now it appears that the tentative steps that were being made has been made official with the new rebrand.
“We are basically evolving our subscription from—in our minds—a set of tools to solutions that help you manage across your work and life.” – Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft CVP of Modern Life, Search and Devices
Related Post: What Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?
New Product Names
On April 21, the rebranding will take effect, meaning the names of familiar Office products will change.
Microsoft has been clear to note that there will be no price, feature, or business model changes.
- 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
- Standalone commercial desktop client subscriptions are becoming Microsoft 365 Apps subscriptions, including Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus
Products That Won’t Change
While several products are being rebranded, there a number of plans where names will see no changes.
- 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
What Does This All Mean Going Forward?
Teams, Office 365, and the competition
While it’s important to stress that there will be no price increases or changes to plans, this rebrand puts into the limelight Microsoft’s longstanding ambitions when it comes to its enterprise and consumer applications.
The success of its Teams app, and the eminent position that the Office suite has held for a number of years, is as good a reason as any to amalgamate the offerings together under the Microsoft banner.
Teams has seen enormous success, last year beating out the previously dominant Slack app when Microsoft announced it had achieved 13 million daily active users to Slack’s 10 million.
With investors expressing a lack in confidence in Slack’s ability to compete with Teams, and Google Suite not yet making any significant inroads into Office’s market share, Microsoft seems to have chosen 2020 as the year they consolidate their gains entirely under the Microsoft brand.
These moves seem to emphasize Microsoft’s plans to be able to offer businesses and consumers the premier collaboration and office suite tools on the market, having previously struggled in that regard with Skype for Business.
For businesses, these changes will have very little effect in day-to-day life.
There are no planned changes of any significance other than the branding, so users can expect familiar apps to remain the same while the Microsoft brand takes center stage in favor of Office 365.
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