Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365: Everything Business Leaders Should Know

An office building angled from below, showing a blue sky and the Microsoft name and logo in the foreground.If you’ve read William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” you might remember the quote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Likewise, that which we used to call Office 365 offers the same productivity suite capabilities under its new name: Microsoft 365.

Last year, to better convey the advantages of its cloud-based productivity suite subscriptions, Microsoft rebranded Office 365 ProPlus and its Office 365 subscriptions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). If you’re wondering if there’s a difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365, the following FAQ should help.

Why did Microsoft rebrand Office 365 for SMBs and Office 365 ProPlus?

On its website, Microsoft states that the new name is “more reflective of the range of features and benefits in the subscription, to meet the unique needs of individuals and businesses.”

The blog entry announcing the product rebranding includes a little more detail, explaining that the new name is meant to communicate the cutting-edge capabilities of Microsoft 365 apps and services – such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced Teams features for engaging events and meetings, next-gen security solutions, and cloud storage and sharing, among others. The offering now goes beyond just the apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) that people have historically associated with the Office suite.

Additionally, renaming Office 365 subscriptions as Microsoft 365 offerings simplifies the supplier’s portfolio and makes it easier for clients to find the right plan. Because Microsoft 365 already existed as what the supplier describes as “the world’s productivity cloud” for businesses, it made sense to add the productivity suite subscriptions for SMBs to the brand family.

Effective April 21, 2020, the following products automatically rebranded:

  • Office 365 Business Premium is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
  • Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
  • Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus are now Microsoft 365 Apps.
  • Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Not every Office 365 plan got a new name last year, however. The following offerings didn’t rebrand:

  • Office 365 for Government (Office 365 G1, G3 and G5)
  • Office 365 for Education (Office 365 A1, A3 and A5)
  • Office 365 for Firstline Workers (Office 365 F1)
  • Office 365 for Enterprise (Office 365 E1, E3 and E5)

Does Microsoft 365 include the same apps as Office 365?

Yes. The Office suite has always been central to the supplier’s productivity products, and all of the rebranded Office 365 plans still include the same apps, according to the supplier.

Is the cost of Microsoft 365 different from Office 365?

The rebranding did not affect the cost of any of the plans. Microsoft’s blog entry announcing the name changes specified that there were no pricing or feature alterations involved.

Where can I learn more about Microsoft 365 plans for my business?

If you have any questions about Microsoft 365, you can visit the supplier’s site or contact our team. We have extensive experience working with Microsoft products and have helped many clients leverage the productivity suite to maximize efficiency. If you’re a current Microsoft customer, we can also audit your licensing to identify potential savings. We pinpointed ways to save over $20,000 per year for one client.

For details, give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email

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