Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus device-based licensing announced

Microsoft announced that a Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus device add-on license will be available for Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS) customers in the summer of 2020.

This will effectively allow a Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus license to be assigned to a device so that multiple users can use Office 365 ProPlus on that device, whether they have their own User Subscription License (USL) for Office 365 or not. In August 2019, a similar add-on was made available for education customers with an Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES), where the add-ons are free if all Education Qualified Users (EQU) are licensed with an Office 365 ProPlus USL.

Find the latest announcement for commercial customers here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/device-based-licensing/ and recap on the education offer here: https://educationblog.microsoft.com/en-us/2019/08/attention-it-administrators-announcing-device-based-subscription-for-education/.

Microsoft Office 365 E1 Trial available

Effective April 1st, 2020 Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft Office 365 E1 Trial in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. This free 6-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams, provides six months of free use for up to 3000 users. Microsoft is making this special Office 365 E1 Trial license available in response to the increased need for employees to work remotely in response to the COVID-19 (corona virus) outbreak.

Please contact us to request the free trial license.

Microsoft has also published a helpful guide to support remote workers using Microsoft Teams: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/support-remote-work-with-teams.

Microsoft 365 product name changes for small and medium-sized businesses

Microsoft announced that effective April 21st, 2020 the following products for small and medium-sized businesses are renamed. This is a change to the product name only, and there are no pricing or feature changes at this time.

Product name before 2020-04-21 Product name after 2020-04-21
Office 365 Business Essentials Microsoft 365 Business Basic
Office 365 Business Premium Microsoft 365 Business Standard
Microsoft 365 Business Microsoft 365 Business Premium
Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus Microsoft 365 Apps

Where necessary Microsoft will use the “for business” and “for enterprise” labels to distinguish between the two.

For further information on the Microsoft 365 product name changes for small and medium-sized businesses, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/30/new-microsoft-365-offerings-small-and-medium-sized-businesses/.

Microsoft Planner available in Microsoft 365 F1 & Office 365 F1

Microsoft Planner has been added to Microsoft 365 F1 and Office 365 F1 commercial and government plans starting at the beginning of October 2019. The Planner functionality is the same as in higher level plans, and there’s no action for a customer to take.

For the full Microsoft announcement, please visit: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Planner-Blog/Planner-is-coming-to-all-F1-commercial-plans-and-government/ba-p/835468.

For more information about Microsoft Planner in general, please visit: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/task-management-software.

Microsoft Office Online name change

Microsoft announced that they will remove the branding “Online” for the web version of Office and introduce new terminology for the apps on the web. Apps like Word Online are now called “Word for the web” or “Word in a browser”. This new terminology is already reflected in the product terms. It is important to note that this brand change only applies to Office applications. There is no change to the branding for Microsoft “Online” server products – especially Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Project Online, and Office Online Server. For the official Microsoft announcement, please visit: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-Apps-Blog/Why-Office-Online-is-Now-Simply-Office/ba-p/760207.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019 removed from Home Use Program

Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019 and Microsoft Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers. Microsoft Office customers in the Home Use Program can now only buy Microsoft Office 365 Home or Microsoft Office 365 Personal subscriptions.

For further information on the Microsoft Home Use Program, please visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/home-use-program/frequently-asked-questions.

Microsoft Office 365 license activation changes

In August, Microsoft will start rolling out changes to Microsoft Office 365 licensing technology to make it more reliable and resilient. These changes will help simplify activation management and streamline the Office 365 activation experience for users. Users will still sign-in to activate Office 365 on their devices, and if single sign-on is enabled, Office 365 will automatically pick up the credentials and activate Office 365. As part of your subscription, users can still install and activate Office 365 apps on up to five PCs or Macs, five tablets, and five smartphones. Previously, users who reached this limit were prompted to deactivate an existing install before activating Office 365 on a new device. Going forward, Office 365 will automatically sign the user out of the user’s least recently used device when the user exceeds the limit, eliminating unnecessary friction. In August, Microsoft will start slowly rolling out these changes to commercial customers on Monthly Channel. No additional action is required on your part.

For further information on the Microsoft Office 365 license activation changes, please visit: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/Office-365-Client-Licensing-and-Activation-Improvements/ba-p/763694.

Microsoft Forms Pro available

Microsoft announced the General Availability of Microsoft Forms Pro for Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers. Microsoft Forms Pro is a simple to use, yet robust enterprise-survey solution that integrates with Office 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power Platform. It’s built on Microsoft Forms for Office 365 with new, advanced survey capabilities to further support business survey solutions, including point-and-click simplicity to create and send custom surveys, integration with your business processes, and AI-assisted features that provide a deep-level of insights across transactional and behavioral data. Continue reading Microsoft Forms Pro available

Microsoft Office 365 Multi-Geo Capabilities

Microsoft Multi-Geo Capabilities for Microsoft Office 365 give customers full control of where their data is stored. Microsoft Multi-Geo Capabilities allow customers to choose different Office 365 data center geographies for their data within Office 365. Data within a single Office 365 tenant can be spread across multiple Office 365 data center geographies on a per-user basis.

Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 are available for Exchange Online and OneDrive, SharePoint Online and Office 365 Groups, allowing customers to address their global data residency needs.

According to the Microsoft Product Terms for June 2019, Microsoft changed the minimum requirements for the Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 from 2500 Office 365 licenses to 500.

For further information on the Microsoft Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365, please visit: https://products.office.com/en-us/business/multi-geo-capabilities.

Microsoft Kaizala available

Microsoft announced the availability of Microsoft Kaizala – a phone number-based, simple and secure work management and mobile messaging app for businesses. Sign-up using just your phone number, so you can chat, coordinate, manage tasks, and more both inside and outside of your organization.

There are two versions of Microsoft Kaizala available – the free Microsoft Kaizala App and Microsoft Kaizala Pro, which adds additional features. Both can be downloaded here, where you find a description of the Kaizala Pro features on the bottom of the page: https://products.office.com/en/business/microsoft-kaizala.

Microsoft Kaizala Pro is included in the following Microsoft licenses:

  • Microsoft Office 365 F1, E1, E3, E5, Business Essentials and Business Premium
  • Microsoft Office 365 Education A3 and A5
  • Microsoft 365 F1, Business, E3, E5
  • Microsoft 365 Education A3 and A5.

According to this announcement, Microsoft Kaizala will become part of Microsoft Teams: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Kaizala-Blog/Microsoft-Kaizala-rolls-out-to-Office-365-customers-globally-and/ba-p/394298.

For an interactive Microsoft Kaizala demo click here: https://kaizalademo.office.com/.