Microsoft is making significant changes to the Microsoft Office branding. Microsoft Office is being renamed “Microsoft 365” after more than 30 years to reflect the software giant’s growing collection of productivity apps. While Office apps such as Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint will continue to exist, Microsoft will now refer to them as part of Microsoft 365 rather than Microsoft Office.
Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and other apps are currently available online at Office.com, but that will soon be changed to Microsoft365.com, with a new six-sided logo replacing the current square one. The changes will take effect next month, with the Office app for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android rebranding in January.
“Over the last couple years, Microsoft 365 has evolved into our flagship productivity suite, so we are creating an experience to help you get the most out of Microsoft 365. In the coming months, Office.com, the Office mobile app, and the Office app for Windows will become the Microsoft 365 app, with a new icon, a new look, and even more features,” the FAQ says.
Microsoft 365 updates are made available to both services (such as SharePoint Online and Teams) and clients (known as Microsoft 365 Apps) (like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Your existing account, profile, subscription, or files will be unaffected. The app will automatically update with a new icon and name in November and beyond, so keep an eye out for those changes. Even though release channels and deployment controls differ between services and clients, it’s critical to understand the distinctions as you implement your release management strategy.
- New types of content creation and templates: Create is the feature where you can jump right into projects across multiple Microsoft 365 apps, either from scratch or by using recommended templates for faster inspiration.
The Create module is already available to all web, Windows, and mobile users, and more template types will be available to consumers next year.
- Apps module has been updated: Discover, launch, and save the Microsoft 365 tools you use the most. Available to all users on the web and Windows from November 2022, and on mobile in the coming months.
- Welcome Badging: This feature displays your Microsoft 365 subscription status and storage usage in one convenient location. Consumers will be able to access it next month via the web and Windows.
- My Content: A popular feature for business customers that is now available for personal use, My Content is a central location where you can view and access all of your content, whether created by you or shared with you, regardless of where it is stored. All users on the web and Windows will be able to access it starting next month.
- Feed: To simplify your workflow, relevant content based on who you work with and what you work on is surfaced through an easy-to-digest interface. Commercial users can access it today via the web, Windows, and mobile.
- Tagging: A new way to group and organize your content across all types of content by using custom tags. Commercial users can access it now via the web and Windows.
Microsoft rebranded some of its Office 365 plans to Microsoft 365 in 2020, so the transition has been long in the making. Microsoft 365 began as a subscription package for an enterprise Windows 10 and Office 365 bundle, but Microsoft eventually decided to turn Microsoft 365 into the umbrella under which nearly all other “Office” products reside.
Office isn’t going away, at least not immediately. Microsoft says it will continue to offer one-time purchases of individual Office apps through the Office 2021 and Office LTSC plans, and that Office 365 subscription plans will remain unchanged.
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