Possible rebranding of Microsoft Office?

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A small detail in recent Office 2016 previews is a clue to future branding of Microsoft Office.

The revised ‘splash’ screen has the line ‘Office 365’ which is new.

A small detail but it seems to indicate Microsoft is moving towards separating the branding of the perpetual licence Office (the upcoming ‘Office 2019’) and the annual plan aka ‘subscription’ software.

Maybe we’ll get a clearer naming separating between the ‘Office for Windows’ that’s part of an Office 365 plan and the static ‘Office 2016/2019 for Windows’?

We’ve moved on from the idea of a single ‘Office for Windows’ to having at least two ‘latest’ releases but unclear naming.

Currently there are two ‘Office 2016 for Windows’ depending on what you purchased.  They are similar but have different features and development.

  • The single payment ‘perpetual licence’ version has a fixed set of features that don’t change.
  • The ‘subscription’ version with an Office 365 plan gets regular updates of new and changed features.

There’s a lot of confusion about the naming of Office generally and especially Office 2016 – see our Office 2016 for Windows guide .  That’s before you add the trouble of having the latest Office for Mac also called ‘Office 2016’ or people who think they’ve installed ‘Office 365’ (Office 365 is the name of the annual/monthly plan not the software).

Confusion guaranteed

Whatever happens, you can rely on continued confusion.  Support staff and customers have enough trouble already figuring out exactly which ‘Microsoft Office’ or ‘Office 2016’ they have.   Future branding will be done to suit Microsoft’s marketing strategies, not the convenience of customers or even their own support people.

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