Written by Nick Heer.

‘Microsoft 365’ Is the New Name for the Company’s Subscription-Based Productivity Suite

Microsoft:

Over the last couple years, Microsoft 365 has evolved into our flagship productivity suite, so we are creating an experience to help you get the most out of Microsoft 365. In the coming months, Office.com, the Office mobile app, and the Office app for Windows will become the Microsoft 365 app, with a new icon, a new look, and even more features.

Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica:

[…] The company also points out that the Office brand will continue to exist, at least for a while. Existing Office 365 accounts aren’t being renamed (yet), and Microsoft will still sell perpetually licensed versions of Word, Excel, and the other Office apps as Office 2021. The company has previously pledged to offer at least one more of these perpetually licensed Office suites, but at this point, we don’t know whether it will continue to be known as “Office” or if it, too, will pick up “Microsoft 365” branding in some way.

Some reporters, including Cunningham, are writing that Microsoft is dropping its longtime Office branding entirely, but I do not think that is the case. Reading between the lines, it sounds like Microsoft — and nobody else — thinks of the subscription-based versions of its Office applications as entirely separate from the concept of “Microsoft Office”. If you buy Office, you just get the desktop versions of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word, just like the good old days. But if you subscribe to Microsoft 365, you get those plus all of the online collaborative stuff. I do not know what the “365” implies, but I do not like it.

Perhaps Microsoft will one day drop its Office brand entirely as it, like seemingly every software product, increasingly relies on monthly shakedowns. Not today, though.