New Microsoft 365 offerings for small and medium-sized businesses
On the 30th of March, 2020, Microsoft announced the Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions, the first consumer offerings from Microsoft 365. They have followed up with related changes to their Office 365 subscriptions for small and medium-sized businesses. Going forward, all of these products will use the Microsoft 365 brand.
This is a natural evolution from Microsoft. Microsoft 365 began in 2017 as a licensing bundle for enterprise customers — a combination of Windows, Office, and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS). It has come a long way since then.
Today, we call it “the world’s productivity cloud” and it represents the vision for the future of Microsoft productivity tools — an integrated set of apps and services that puts artificial intelligence (AI) and other cutting-edge innovations to work for you. And for small and medium-sized businesses, that includes new capabilities in Microsoft Teams to help you host rich meetings and events online; cloud file storage and sharing capabilities so you can collaborate from anywhere; and security and identity solutions to help safeguard your business.
At a moment where businesses are facing extraordinary health and economic challenges, Microsoft are greatly supporting consumer and small and medium-sized businesses.
New product names
The new product names go into effect on 21st of April, 2020. This is a change to the product name only, and there are no pricing or feature changes at this time.
- Office 365 Business Essentials will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
- Office 365 Business Premium will become Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
- Microsoft 365 Business will become Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
- Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will both become Microsoft 365 Apps. Where necessary we will use the “for business” and “for enterprise” labels to distinguish between the two.
Note that the changes to these products will all happen automatically.
Today, Microsoft are simply announcing name changes. But these changes represent their ambition to continue to drive innovation in Microsoft 365 that goes well beyond what customers traditionally think of Office. The Office you know and love will still be there, but we’re excited about the new apps and services Microsoft has included in their subscriptions over the last few years and about the new innovations they’ll be adding in the coming months. For questions, please refer to the FAQs below and then head to the What is Microsoft 365 page for more details.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What Office 365 plan names aren’t changing?
A. The following Office 365 plans will have no changes:
- Office 365 for Enterprise
- Office 365 E1
- Office 365 E3
- Office 365 E5
- Office 365 for Firstline Workers
- Office 365 F1
- Office 365 for Education
- Office 365 A1
- Office 365 A3
- Office 365 A5
- Office 365 for Government
- Office 365 G1
- Office 365 G3
- Office 365 G5
Q. Why are you making these changes?
A. Microsoft, we want their products to reflect the range of features and benefits in the subscription. Microsoft 365 is an integrated set of apps and services that puts AI and other cutting-edge innovations to work for you. And for small and medium-sized businesses, that includes new capabilities in Microsoft Teams to help you host rich meetings and events online; cloud file storage and sharing capabilities so you can collaborate from anywhere; and security and identity solutions to safeguard your businesses. Second, they’re always looking for ways to simplify. This new approach to naming our products is designed to help you quickly find the plan you need and get back to your business.
Q. How does Office fit into Microsoft 365? Will I still be able to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint?
A. The Office suite is core to the Microsoft productivity experience, and that’s not changing. But over the last several years, their cloud productivity offering has grown well beyond what people traditionally think of as “Office”. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are more important than ever before. But in Microsoft 365 they’re breathing new life into these apps with the help of the cloud and AI, and adding new, born-in-the-cloud experiences like Teams, Stream, Forms, and Planner. All of this is underpinned by a set of common services that keep your data safe and secure. It’s Office and a whole lot more.
Q. Is there anything new or different in Microsoft 365 Apps for business or Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise plans that wasn’t in Office 365 Business or Office 365 ProPlus plans? Any new features?
A. There are no price or feature changes to plans at this time.
Q. When will the Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise plans be available?
A. All plans will become available for customers on 21st of, 2020.
Q. Are all of the Office 365 plans going away? What isn’t changing?
A. None of the plans are going away. The same plans are available, only with updated names. And in the case of Office 365 Enterprise, the name will remain the same and there will be no changes.
Q. I’m an existing SMB or ProPlus customer. Do I need to take any action?
A. Customers with the Office 365 Business, Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium, or Microsoft 365 Business plans do not need to take additional action. The above changes will happen automatically.
Q. My company uses Office 365 ProPlus, and I have questions about this change. Where can I learn more?
A. Customers with the Office 365 ProPlus plan should consult this site for further details.
Q. I have a question not answered here.
A. Contact your Digital Guppy Account Manager who will be able to assist you further.