Companies using an Office 365 business plan just experienced a major change, along with home users. In its efforts to have its plans reflect the depth of other Microsoft products beyond Office, the company rebranded Office 365 to Microsoft 365.
This has caused a lot of business owners to ask their IT consultant and support professionals, “What does this Microsoft rebranding mean for us?” and “Where is Office going?”
The Office software suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook has become a mainstay in small and large businesses alike shortly after it first came out in 1990. Then, in 2011, Office 365 with a cloud upgrade was a major game changer when it came to cloud adoption.
Office 365 has over 200 million monthly active users.
So, it’s natural for Texas business owners to be wondering what’s going on with this major name change and how is it going to impact one of the tools they rely on daily to keep their business going.
What You Need to Know About the Office 365 Rebranding
Microsoft rolled out the name change on April 21, 2020. While it went off fairly smoothly, there are still a lot of questions surrounding this major change.
Here’s what you need to know about the impact to your company.
Office Is Not Being Retired
The key reason Microsoft gives for dropping the “Office” name on its subscriptions is to fully reflect the other applications and capabilities offered in its plans beyond just the Office suite.
The company understands that Office is at the core of the productivity suite and it’s not going anywhere. But the business plans also include things like Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and a slew of other productivity tools.
Microsoft feels the rebrand to Microsoft 365 better reflects the full scope of the products included in the subscription.
Business Plans Were Changed, Enterprise Plans Were Not
In addition to the home consumer Office 365 plans, the business plans also underwent the name change. However, the Office 365 Enterprise plans did not have their names changed… but there are new Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans.
It’s a little confusing for those using Office 365 E1, E3, E5, or one of the specialty editions (government, education, etc.). The new Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans are at higher price points and include additional features.
For example, Office 365 E3 costs $20/user/month and Microsoft 365 E3 is $32/user/month. So, enterprise users on Office 365 aren’t undergoing any changes now, but they may want to see what the new plans offer.
Your Price Is Not Changing
A main concern of business owners is that Microsoft would increase their subscription price with the rebranding, but that’s not the case. All Microsoft 365 business plans are at the same price as the Office 365 plans.
You Don’t Have to Do Anything
The changeover has already happened, and subscription names changed automatically to reflect the new branding. Your company doesn’t have to do anything.
Your New Plan Name Is…
All plan names have been changed for the Office 365 business plans.
If you’ll remember, MS introduced a package plan a while back that included Office 365, Windows 10, Intune, and additional security features that was called Microsoft 365 Business. That plan is also having a slight name update to fit in with the new structure.
Here are the new plan names and what they used to be:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic is the new name for Office 365 Business Essentials
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard is the new name for Office 365 Business Premium
- Microsoft 365 Apps is the new name for both Office 365 Business and Office 365 Pro Plus (“for Business” or “for Enterprise” will be used where needed to differentiate)
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium is the new name for Microsoft 365 Business
Plan Features are Remaining the Same
Microsoft states that features for all the plans impacted by the rebranding to Microsoft 365 are remaining the same.
However, there have been regular Office app feature updates happening with some exciting ones coming in the near future.
While these updates aren’t technically part of the rebranding, here are some of the improvements you can expect soon or may have already seen:
- Helpful new grammar editor in Word and Outlook
- Many new free templates, fonts, stock photos, videos, and icons
- Presenter Coach for PowerPoint to give voice/presentation suggestions
- New data types and smart templates in Excel
Ensure You’re Taking Full Advantage of Your Cloud Tools
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