News

Microsoft Rebrands 'Office on the Web' to Just 'Office'

Microsoft's "Office on the Web" product (also referred to as "Office Online") will hereafter be called just "Office."

According to an announcement Wednesday by Bill Doll, an Office product marketing official focused on Office Online and the Office app, the rebrand applies to individual Office applications, as well.

"In line with this approach, the official product name for what was previously referred to as 'Office Online' is now simply 'Office,'" Doll stated. "We have also discontinued use of the 'Online' branding with each of the apps so 'Word Online' is now 'Word,' 'Excel Online' is now 'Excel,' etc."

Office Online isn't really the current terminology that's getting dropped. The Online term is an old product descriptor that Microsoft stopped using years ago. Instead, Microsoft had been using "Outlook on the Web," et cetera, which is the current phrasing that's getting dropped.

Here's the history as I recall it. Microsoft's browser-based Office applications started as extensions under the Office Live Workspace brand. Later, they were called "Office Web Apps." In 2014, Microsoft decided that Office Web Apps should be called Office Online instead, which was part of Microsoft's Office.com Web portal rollout. Microsoft at some point later dropped the "Online" part and starting using the "on the Web" prepositional phrase instead. There wasn't any official announcement about that last product-naming switch that I can recall, though.

Doll indicated that Microsoft from time to time might still use phrases like "Office for the Web" to generically describe its browser-based Office apps. He added that people should use the phrase that's best, given the context.

Microsoft changed its Office Online terminology to Office because its productivity suite runs across multiple platforms, and the sub-branding across products didn't make sense anymore, according to Doll. However, the Online term, now being discarded by Microsoft, actually was a useful distinction for software buyers. Office desktop products and Office Mobile app products typically have differences in terms of supported features from their Office on the Web cousins. For some individuals and organizations, those feature differences could be important. Now it seems they'll have to ask beforehand if they are buying Office or Office Online.

Microsoft's terminology switch isn't being extended to its hosted server products. Office 365 products such as Exchange Online and SharePoint Online will still keep the "Online" part, Doll explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

Featured

  • Microsoft Security Program for Nonprofits Now Available

    Nonprofits now have access to a new program that provides a suite of real-time monitoring and protection tools from Microsoft and its partners.

  • Windows 10 Version 21H2 Nears Final Release

    The next major feature update to Windows 10 is almost ready for prime time, Microsoft announced this week.

  • The 2021 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From Windows 10X to the next generation of Microsoft's application server products, here are the product milestones coming down the pipeline in 2021.

  • Silver Pins

    Microsoft Teams Sprawl: What It Is and How Partners Can Fix It

    Microsoft Teams is having its boom period and the remote-work revolution is driving it. But for many organizations, that hasn't been without its downsides.