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Office 365 vs Microsoft 365: What’s the Difference? Are They the Same?

Office 365 vs Microsoft 365: What’s the Difference? Are They the Same?

March 5, 2019 in Corporate IT Training, Microsoft 365/Office 365, Microsoft Office / by Ted Parker

Revised July 20, 2020: If you asked the two questions in the title of this blog today, the answers would be: “There is no difference.” “Yes, they are the same.” So, if you prefer current events, read our new blog Office 365 is now Microsoft 365.  If you are a fan of the History Channel, keep reading this blog from March 2019 and re-live the glory days when the once powerful Office 365 brand ruled the world of Microsoft Productivity Apps.

Microsoft 365 and Office 365 – also referred to as M365 and O365 – are hot products in the IT industry right now, so you have probably heard these names tossed around (and maybe even heard them used interchangeably). So, which is it, Microsoft? Office 365 or Microsoft 365?

Here’s the answer:
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 are separate but overlapping Microsoft productivity tools or products. They are the first steps in a company’s journey towards Digital Transformation.

What is Office 365 (O365)?

Office 365 is a Microsoft license or product that has been around for several years. It was originally Microsoft’s cloud-based platform for the traditional Microsoft Office suite of end-user productivity apps, such as Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Word. Today, however, Office 365 has significantly expanded and offers companies an on-ramp towards Digital Transformation by including such apps as:

  • OneDrive
  • OneNote
  • Skype for Business
  • Teams
  • SharePoint
  • Planner

For a schedule of end user Centriq Training classes for these Apps, see below. Office 365 is available as a standalone product or as part of the comprehensive Microsoft 365 product license.

What is Microsoft 365 (M365)?

Microsoft 365 is a relatively new product from Microsoft. Simply put, it is a bundle of existing Microsoft business productivity tools (including Office 365) packaged together under one license for a complete user experience.  It encompasses three primary services:

  • Office 365
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security

Microsoft 365 is geared towards businesses or larger organizations and designed to empower your team to be creative and collaborative, while efficiently and securely achieving your organization’s business goals.

Training and Certification for O365 and M365

For IT Pros: While Office 365 remains a separate Microsoft product, the certifications that have previously related to Office 365 are going away. The MCSA: Office 365 certifications is currently scheduled to retire on March 31, 2019 (but that date has been pushed back a couple of times).  The next generation of Office-related Microsoft training and certifications will all be released under the Microsoft 365 name.

Microsoft certifications will now focus on building the skills required for actual job roles rather than focusing on features and services of the Microsoft software product itself. (Read about the new Microsoft “role-based” certifications here.) The initial job role that will align with the new Microsoft 365 certifications is Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator. The certification related to the Microsoft 365 Enterprise Administrator is the Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert. The Associate certifications (also sometimes referred to as “workload” certifications) leading up to the Expert certification will have names such as:

  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Teamwork Administrator Associate

The training classes supporting these certifications will similarly be offered under Microsoft 365 titles rather than Office 365 titles. For an up-to-date list and schedule, go to Microsoft 365 Classes.

For End Users: Centriq offers a robust schedule of classes for the End Users in your company that will utilize the many Apps included in Office 365. Below is a current list of those classes. However, these may change as Microsoft adds new functions and new names to the Apps.  For an up-to-date list and schedule, go to Office 365 Classes.

See all of our Microsoft 365 training courses here.

For more information on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 training and certifications, click here or contact Centriq Training using the form below.

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