Office 365 Groups Gets the 'Microsoft 365' Treatment

In keeping with Microsoft's plan to rebrand most of its Office 365 products, the company announced this week that Office 365 Groups will eventually become "Microsoft 365 Groups."

Microsoft said last month that most of its Office 365 products will be renamed as "Microsoft 365" products starting April 21. In the case of Office 365 Groups, the name will change but not its functionality. It will show up with its new name in "all the connected endpoints" sometime "over the upcoming quarters," Microsoft indicated, though it didn't clarify further.

The Groups renaming is a much more straightforward case than the Office 365 products renaming. In the latter case, it's not just the brand, but the product names, too, that will change, in perhaps confusing ways. For instance, Office 365 Business Premium will become "Microsoft 365 Business Standard," while Microsoft 365 Business will become "Microsoft 365 Business Premium."

Perhaps even more confusing is that the Office 365 brand will continue to be used after the April 21 date for Office 365 for Enterprise, Office 365 for Firstline Workers, Office 365 for Education and Office 365 for Government products.

Office 365 Groups is a service that let groups get created from client applications. It's available in Office 365 subscriptions that have access to the Exchange Online and SharePoint Online services, according to a Microsoft document. Groups is available in the following subscriptions:

  • Office 365 Business Essentials (getting renamed to "Microsoft 365 Business Basic")
  • Office 365 Business Premium (getting renamed to "Microsoft 365 Business Standard")
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3 and E5 plans (not getting renamed)

By default, any end user can create a group, unless restricted beforehand by policies set by IT pros. These restrictions are enabled by setting up "security groups" for end users, according to this Microsoft document explanation.

Creating a group automatically also creates things like a shared Outlook inbox, a shared calendar, a SharePoint document library and access to Power BI and Planner. A group can be created from within various Office 365 applications, including Outlook, Yammer and Microsoft Teams.

About the Author

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


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