Microsoft 365 is Microsoft as a Service

Posted on July 10, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, Microsoft Surface, Mobile, Office 365, Windows 10 with 28 Comments

Microsoft 365 is Microsoft as a Service

In a move to further consolidate its cloud-based offerings for businesses, Microsoft this morning announced Microsoft 365, combining Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security into a single solution.

It is, in other words, what I’ll call “Microsoft as a Service.”

“Microsoft 365 offers exciting new opportunities for our partners, from the ability to modernize a customer’s environment through managed services to the ability to differentiate their offerings with advanced enterprise services,” Microsoft’s Matt Barlow writes in a post timed to the start of Inspire, the software giant’s partner conference. “We believe Microsoft 365 will be a further catalyst to drive customer creativity, security and simplicity in their desktop management.”

Described by the software giant as “a new family of commercial offerings,” Microsoft 365 provides a complete set of productivity and security capabilities for businesses of all sizes. There are two offerings, Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5, and both will be available for purchase on August 1. Pricing is unclear.

The enterprise version is called Microsoft 365 Enterprise, and it encompasses Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Service, the firm’s integrated MDM offering. It will be offered in two plans, Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5, that will be “available for purchase” on August 1.

For small- and medium-sized businesses, Microsoft 365 Business will offer Office 365 Business Premium, security and device management for Office apps and Windows 10, and a centralized IT console. The cost? $20 per user, per month.

Additionally, Microsoft announced the preview release of three applications that are coming to Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business: Microsoft Listings, Microsoft Connections, and Microsoft Invoicing.

Microsoft describes Microsoft 365 as “a fundamental shift” in the way it will design, build, and deliver these products to market going forward. And that’s interesting, right? One of the big advantages of just Office 365 is that Microsoft will always know that its customers have all of the constituent products and services, so they can be updated with that integration in mind.

Today’s announcement suggests that Microsoft will now undertake this development strategy, as much as it can, with Office 365, Windows 10, and EMS. Which is, of course, why we should think of this as Microsoft as a Service. It’s literally the cloud convergence that many had expected to see over time.

I wonder when they will announce a consumer offering. Seems reasonable.

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