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Microsoft Is Changing The Names Of Office 365 Licences

Though slightly confusing, there’s logic behind Microsoft’s new naming conventions

Microsoft has announced that from 21 April 2020, the names of common Office 365 licences will change to align under Microsoft 365.

Below on the left are the current licence names, which are being replaced by the names on the right:

  • Office 365 Business Essentials > Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Office 365 Business Premium > Microsoft 365 Business Standard
  • Microsoft 365 Business > Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Office 365 Business > Microsoft 365 Apps for Business
  • Office 365 ProPlus > Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise

Changes will be to the name only – all pricing and features will remain the same.

Much more than ‘Office’ 365

While Microsoft’s habit of periodically changing product names can be infuriating from an industry point of view, this most recent round of changes has logic behind it.

For some time, the number of applications that users receive with an Office 365 licence has been expanding, with Teams, SharePoint, Exchange and OneDrive now commonly found with Office 365 Business licences. Indeed, some Office 365 licences didn’t even come with access to the full version of the Office suite.

Some of the new Microsoft 365 licences explained

The change to product names in part, therefore, reflects that licenses are far less to do with the traditional Office suite and more about Microsoft’s wider cloud services (which sit under the Microsoft 365 moniker.

The changes will also likely get users thinking more about the applications and services available to them through their licences. Many organisations won’t have accessed the free 1TB of SharePoint storage available with their Business Premium licenses. And it has taken the Coronavirus outbreak for most organisations to discover their access to Teams. With the renaming, we would expect to see Microsoft promoting their cloud products more.

Akita is a Microsoft Gold partner. To discuss Microsoft 365 licences or arrange product demos, please get in touch.  

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