This week, Microsoft announced that it’s changing the names of its Office 365 subscriptions for small and medium-sized businesses. These will now be called Microsoft 365. But what does it mean for you?

The first thing to know is that these name changes will happen automatically, so you don’t need to do anything. As Microsoft’s announcement said, “This is a change to the product name only, and there are no pricing or feature changes at this time.”

Although ‘at this time’ does suggest a future intention to add to the functionality, and quite possibly the pricing with it.

Office 365, to use the old name, provides much more than just Office, and, depending on the subscription, includes OneDrive, Teams, Forms and Planner. I think this name change reflects Microsoft’s frustration that customers aren’t making better use of some great tools, for which they’re already licenced.  

The ‘Microsoft 365’ brand has been in use for as a licensing bundle for enterprise customers since 2017 so this new name change also simplifies branding.  

Specifically, here’s what’s changing:

  • Office 365 Business Essentials becomes Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Office 365 Business Premium becomes Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • The existing Microsoft 365 Business becomes Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will both now be Microsoft 365 Apps.

In my opinion, this shows Microsoft’s desire to improve its main offering to small and medium-sized businesses, so it can get everyone using its cloud and security offerings. Right now, it’s just a name change, but I feel sure there will be more apps and features to come.

If you need any help with your Microsoft licensing, please get in touch with me via your account manager.