Microsoft Office’s new nominal face is Microsoft 365. Is it worth the name change, like an orphan integrated into the family for so long but decidedly adopted by the prominent great-great grand uncle? We’ll find out soon enough.
An Unnecessary Change by Microsoft?
In late 2019, Microsoft announced a change to the names of its Office 365 products. The change met with some criticism, as many felt it was unnecessary and confusing. However, there were also some positive reactions, as the new names better reflect the features and functionality of the products.
The same goes with this one, as Microsoft suddenly decided to “off” the Office brand and absorb it within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Excel, Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, and other productivity tools and apps are now available in the main Microsoft 365 subscription. No more Office 365 subscriptions, just Microsoft 365.
The new name’s benefit is that there is a central hub in the form of the Microsoft 365 app where users can find all Microsoft apps. This move is understandably sound, as it is a power branding move. Microsoft has been a leading household and corporate name for decades, though the Office branding is strong and recognizable to those who have used the individual apps and suites.
The Microsoft 365 app
Microsoft launched the Microsoft 365 app on Windows and Android a few months ago as their flagship centralized hub for productivity and everything else in between. It is touted to make your life and work easier, but will it stick?
Those used to having just the Office 365 suite and disregarding everything else can now see all the apps in one place, even those that are not office apps. The main reason is to foster collaborative work and lump all their software in one place.
Aside from seeing features like pinning your most used apps, tagging teammates, and a card design for your latest stuff, a section in the app called Feed works like any social media app feed. You will see due tasks, and comments on your documents, making your team aware of what changes you’ve made on shared projects, and more. New apps on the creative side include Loop, Clipchamp, Designer, and Stream, alongside golden oldies like Teams. There is a free plan alongside a premium one for individuals and businesses.
Changes other than the name
Other than integrating the Microsoft 365 app and the renaming decision, there’s not much change other than all existing associations with Office, including Office.com, will now redirect to the Microsoft 365 website. Despite slowly being phased out and considered a legacy brand, Microsoft Office will still make their Office 2021 and Office LTSC suites available separately.
The move to rename the brand from Office to Microsoft is polarizing. A lot of the diehards welcome the decision with open arms; others will see it as a Microsoft-doomed-to-fail scenario, while the minority who up and left the Office environment are still where they are – outside of Microsoft. Regardless of the name change, as long as the functionality of the Office apps stays the same or can be improved over the years, we’re okay with this.
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