Office 365 Groups Getting Renamed to 'Microsoft 365 Groups'

Microsoft announced on Monday that Office 365 Groups will get renamed as "Microsoft 365 Groups" sometime "over the upcoming quarters."

It's just a name change, and not reflective of a change in functionality. It will show up in "all the connected endpoints" in that time period, the announcement indicated, which wasn't further clarified. The context for this change appears to be Microsoft's March 30 announcement to rename most of its Office 365 products as "Microsoft 365" products, starting on April 21, 2020. 

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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