Office 365 might be in for a Microsoft 365 branding shift

Laptop with Office 365
Laptop with Office 365 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft appears to be experimenting with re-branding Office 365 under its Microsoft 365 banner.
  • Screenshots from two Twitter users show the new branding showing up in pre-release version of Office.
  • Microsoft says it has "no plans to rebrand Office 365 ProPlus to Microsoft 365 ProPlus at this point."

Microsoft may be moving towards re-branding Office 365 as Microsoft 365, according to screenshots taken from pre-release versions of Office 365 products. Two Twitter users, Michael Reinders and Florian B, have posted screenshots that show their apps sporting the Microsoft 365 branding where Office 365 would usually be displayed (via ZDNet).

As OnMSFT points out, Florian B is on the "Dogfood" ring of the Office Insider program, which he achieved through a registry hack. This ring is meant for internal testing at Microsoft, so it's possible this is just an internal experiment that may never see the light of day.

Microsoft 365 is a brand that the company has been pushing in the enterprise and education segments as a bundle that includes Office 365 apps, Windows 10, and various security solutions.

In a statement to ZDNet, Microsoft 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."

Late in 2018, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was considering a Microsoft 365 Consumer bundle, which could include Windows 10, Skype, Office 365, and other services. A month later, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made a passing mention of a possible consumer subscription in as part of a larger statement about the company's commitment to its consumer business. He further hinted that such a tier could inclue tie-ins to Xbox as well.

If Microsoft indeed has some larger plans for a consumer subscription tier for Microsoft 365, it's possible that we could hear more about them at its upcoming October 2 Surface event or its Ignite conference later this year.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl