Microsoft is ditching the ‘Online’ part of its Office Online software branding and not everyone is happy about the change.
Microsoft has announced that it is retiring the Office Online moniker for the web app of its popular Microsoft Office software. The move is part of a wider strategy to no longer use platform-specific sub-brands to refer to individual versions of the same software. This is because the sub-brands “should” be reserved for software with actual differences, such as Office 2019 and the cloud-based Office 365.
The company claims that the name change reflects Microsoft’s commitment to providing high quality experiences across all platforms and devices, regardless of how people choose to work.
So, Office Online is now simply Office, Word Online is Word, Excel Online is Excel… you get the picture.
Naturally, this all could get a bit confusing if you’re trying to refer to a specific version of the software – it’s almost like it was called Office Online for a reason. Fear not though, the company plans to sidestep any confusion by using the term ‘Office for the web’ when the situation calls for it in the same way it currently uses ‘Office for Windows’, ‘Office for Mac’, ‘Office for iOS’ and ‘Office for Android’ to refer to each system specific version of the software.
“‘…for the web’ is not a new brand or strict naming convention”, Microsoft senior product marketing officer Bill Doll expanded. “So you may also see us also use terminology such as ‘…on the web’, ‘…on Office.com’, and ‘…in a browser’. We encourage people to use whichever terminology is most appropriate and provides the most clarity for a given context”.
This has caused frustration with some users with Microsoft user Kevin Crossman commenting: “Seems to me that you’ve taken what was previous a very precise and unambiguous label and removed it. Which no doubt will cause confusion. But, if we can use ‘whichever terminology’ is most appropriate, I’m going to use the wording that provides the most clarity: Office Online.”
The re-branding is only expected to affect Office apps and there are currently no plans in place to drop ‘Online’ from the names of Microsoft’s server products, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Project Online and Office Online Server.
Office has already rolled out the changes across most of its products and marketing and is in the process of finalising the name change across the last of its content.
Microsoft Office is available to download on Microsoft’s website.