Microsoft is dropping the Office 365 branding and switching to Microsoft 365 plans for annual ‘subscriptions’ to the Office programs and related services.
These changes happen on 21 April 2020 but don’t mean any major change for customers. As we’ll see the new plans are almost the same as the current Office 365 plans, with different names.
In fact a lot of the media coverage is misleading and falls for Microsoft’s trick mentioning existing Office 365 features which the unwitting think are ‘new’.
According to Microsoft there are now 37 million people using Office 365/Microsoft 365 plans. It’s not clear if that number is just consumer plans or combined with the many business plans.
Office 365 Home – Microsoft 365 Family
The most popular consumer plan will be called ‘Microsoft 365 Family’ but still offers the same features for up to SIX family members.
Office 365 Personal – Microsoft 365 Personal
The single person plan also remains unchanged. The word ‘Office’ is replaced with ‘Microsoft’ as in ‘Microsoft 365 Personal’.
The only immediate change is the addition of some support options for Office 365 customers.
Windows 10 technical support is available with Microsoft 365 plans. There are also some (as yet undetailed) extra additional security features to guard against phishing and malware attacks.
Some of the promotion and media coverage is misleading. Features like ‘Ransomware protection’, ‘PowerPoint Designer’, Outlook.com custom domain and protection are NOT new to Microsoft 365. They are features in the existing Office 365 consumer plans.
There are now more ‘Partner Benefits’ for Office 365/Microsoft 365 customers. These are all ‘free trials’ of other subscription plans, most notably Adobe’s Premier Rush, Acrobat Pro DC and Creative Cloud plans.
Read the FINE PRINT all these offers come with limtations. Go to Partner Benefits to see what’s available in your country and check the tiny, tiny footnotes.
Stay the Same
Pricing stays the same, all the features are unchanged.
All the Office 365 goodies remain in the plans:
- Office apps for Windows and Mac
- Mobile apps for Apple and Android devices.
- 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage
- 50GB of Outlook.com storage
- 60 minutes of Skype calls to many global phone numbers.
Don’t buy from Microsoft
Our main, money saving, advice remains the same.
DON’T BUY or Renew Microsoft 365 plans direct from Microsoft.
That’s the most expensive way to buy Microsoft Office (subscription plan or ‘one off’ perpetual licence). Always shop around for a better deal. Microsoft Office 365 buy or renew cheaper or free
Office 2019 – no change
Office 2019 the single payment, perpetual licence version of Microsoft Office is NOT affected.
The Office 365 / Microsoft 365 name change applies to the ‘subscription’ versions of Office not the perpetual licence bundles.