Microsoft appears to be switching some of consumer Office 365 branding to the enterprise-focused Microsoft 365. Some users of both Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Home have noted the change.
Rumors of a consumer Microsoft 365 SKU have been circulating since last year, but there’s no evidence yet to suggest this change is related. Speaking to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, a Microsoft spokesperson said:
“No, we have no plans to rebrand Office 365 ProPlus to Microsoft 365 ProPlus at this point. Customers can still buy Office 365 ProPlus without Windows and Intune.”
Why, then, is Microsoft switching up its branding? The key could lay in the wording of “at this time”. As Foley points out, the company could be testing the changes before an announcement at one of its events, such as Ignite in November.
I have a home Office365 Licence on my personnal MSA and all app branding switched from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 this morning. pic.twitter.com/3Ez9yzmIBn
— Florian B (@flobo09) September 19, 2019
Still, it’s unclear what exactly would come with a Microsoft 365 Consumer bundle. Enterprise offerings typically include Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Security + Mobility. As consumers already own Windows 10 and have no need for enterprise features, would it just be a re-name?
Ultimately, these hints raise questions we just can’t answer yet. Perhaps a Microsoft 365 offering would include upgraded versions of Office 365 apps and its rumored Teams for Life product. Or maybe it’s just trying to consolidate its naming. We won’t know more until Microsoft or an inside source clarifies things.
Microsoft 365 has been receiving a steady stream of updates, with major additions in June making additions to cloud app security and compliance. In PowerPoint, enterprises gained access to branded PowerPoint templates, while Outlook got full inking capabilities.
Its productivity suite continues to perform well in both markets, with commercial revenue increasing by 14% in its Q4 2019 financial report, and consumer 6%.