The change, which will take place on April 21, is designed «to reflect the range of features and benefits of subscription plans,» the company said.
Microsoft today announced name changes to the Office 365 subscription plans in the Business line, replacing «Microsoft 365» instead.
The developer of Redmond, Washington, has not reached the subscription plans aimed at business, education and government.
The names of the plans will change automatically on April 21, Microsoft said in an online statement. Plan prices will not change.
Office 365 Business Essentials, the lowest price in the Business line, will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
Office 365 Business, the intermediate trio plan that offers Office and OneDrive applications, but not other services, will become Microsoft 365 applications.
Office 365 Business Premium, the most capable and expensive subscription plan of the three, will become the Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
Microsoft will change its nickname from Microsoft 365 Business to Microsoft 365 Business Premium to match the Business line as the highest value of $ 20 per user per month. That subscription adds security and management tools to Office 365 Business Standard, maiden Premium. (This is currently the lowest priced plan in the Microsoft 365 line. However, after the name is changed, it will fall somewhere in the middle.)
Finally, the Office 365 orphan, the Office 365 ProPlus agreement, which like Office 365 Business limits bits to Office and OneDrive applications, will receive the same card from Microsoft 365 Apps. (Microsoft said that if it had to differentiate between the two, it would add «for business» and «for business» to its offerings.)
Leaving aside the changes to the subscription label, everything will remain intact. «There are no changes to pricing or plan features at this time (emphasis added),» Microsoft said in a short question-and-answer session included in the announcement.
What is the frequency, Redmond?
As for why Microsoft will change its Office 365 line with a rebranding project, the company had two reasons.
«We want our products to reflect the range of features and benefits of the subscription,» the company said again in the question and answer session. Specifically, Microsoft highlighted previous additions to the Office 365 Business Essentials and Business Premium plans, in particular the online Teams meeting, video conferencing, and collaboration software, as justification for a step in programming.
«Secondly, we are always looking for ways to simplify,» the company continued. «This new approach to naming our products is designed to help you quickly find the plan you need and get back to business.»
Microsoft’s second reason was the weaker of the two.
Since the introduction of Microsoft 365 as a subscription plan label in 2017, Microsoft has had an identity issue with that line and the much older Office 365 crossovers. What was Microsoft 365? How was it different, better in price, from the original?
Initially, Microsoft 365 was a super suite, a super subscription, since it started with Office 365, then it added more, most importantly a subscription to Windows 10. Microsoft 365, then, was Office 365 + Windows 10. (It was more, but those pieces were the most important).
Microsoft could be applauded for bringing more of its subscriptions under the name Microsoft 365, this is clearly the name that will drive everyone at some point, but the brand remains a scattered brain. Some subscriptions are intended for consumers, as Microsoft today announced a name change from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 for its personal and home offerings; others are for business, but without Windows 10; And there are more for companies that want the kitchen sink, including windows.
This is not a brand, just a crowd.
And much of Microsoft’s plans will remain, at least for now, selected as Office 365, including all business, education, and government subscriptions, from Office 365 A1 to Office 365 E5. Grouping these plans under the Microsoft 365 umbrella will require effort, as the company will need to figure out how to handle the duplicate x3 and x5 suffixes.