Office 365 is rebranding: Here's what to expect

Microsoft isn't just unveiling new Microsoft 365 subscription plans for families today, but also renaming its existing subscription services to make them fit with the new schemes. From April 21, for instance, Office 365 Business Essentials will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic.

Office 365 Business Premium, meanwhile, will be renamed to Microsoft 365 Business Standard. Microsoft 365 Business is going to be known as Microsoft 365 Business Premium, moving forward.

Some of the name changes will bring currently different packages under the same core title. Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus, for instance, are both going to be known as Microsoft 365 Apps from April 21. "Where necessary," Microsoft explains, "we will use the "for business" and "for enterprise" labels to distinguish between the two."

For the moment, it's a change in name alone. There'll be no new features added – until things like the password security monitoring that will be part of the Microsoft 365 family subscriptions – and no change to price. However there'll be "new innovations" in the coming months, Microsoft teases.

According to Microsoft 365 corporate vice president Jared Spataro, "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 business. At a moment when businesses are facing extraordinary health and economic challenges, we are pleased to bring our consumer and small and medium-sized business customers into this growing Microsoft 365 family."

Not everything is changing

While the new branding may be rolling out from mid-April, not all of Microsoft's subscription services will be changing name from the get-go. If you're on an Office 365 for Enterprise plan, for example, then Office 365 E1/E3/E5 will be staying the same. Office 365 for Firstline Workers, "F1," isn't changing name either.

Office 365 for Education – split into A1, A3, and A5 – will keep its name, as will Office 365 for Government.

Either way, there's no need for any changes on the user's part. Microsoft says the name updates will happen automatically. The Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise plans will be released on April 21.