Goodbye Office, Hello Microsoft

Goodbye Office, Hello Microsoft

Dennis Snider

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On April 21st this year, Microsoft has changed the name of its collection of productivity apps from Office 365 to Microsoft 365. This new branding is a reflection of Microsoft’s desire to offer customers a holistic productivity platform.

This new brand puts Azure, Windows 10, and Office 365 all on a single new platform. Overall, this change is not significantly different: what you paid for on April 20 is pretty much the same as what you get on April 21. Nevertheless, this switchover is a good time to review what Office 365/Microsoft 365 can give you and which subscription is best for you.

As with Office 365, Microsoft 365 offers a number of different levels to suit what your business needs. All of these subscriptions contain well-known applications including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, as well as a variety of service offerings including Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange.

For business users, the cheapest option is Microsoft 365 Business Basic, which costs $5 per user per month (this used to be called Office 365 Business Essentials). This subscription only allows you to access cloud-based versions of office apps; you can’t put them on your desktop. However, the package does include mobile versions of all the apps and Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange.

Next up is Microsoft 365 Business Standard (previously Office 365 Business Premium). This costs $12.50 per user per month and provides desktop, online, and mobile versions of all the essential office apps. As above, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange are all included.

The highest-level package is Microsoft 365 Business Premium (previously Microsoft 365 Premium). This costs $20 per user per month and includes everything in the Business Standard package plus the Intune and Azure information protection services.

An additional offering is Microsoft 365 Apps for Business, which incorporates all the office apps but is only supported by OneDrive. This costs $8.50 per user per month.

The home version of Office 365 is also being renamed Microsoft 365. There are three versions of this, Personal ($69.99 a year), Family ($99.99 per year) or Office Home & Student 2019 ($149.99, single purchase). The first two options have all the best-known apps; Personal has I TB of cloud storage for a single person, while Family has 6 TB to be shared between up to six people. Home & Student allows for a one-off installation of all the classic Office apps on a single PC or Mac.

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