Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announcing Microsoft 365 service at Inspire conference
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announcing Microsoft 365 service at Inspire conference

Today at the company's Inspire business conference, Microsoft announced a new service called "Microsoft 365" that bundles together three of its previous standalone services: Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, this new offering was created with businesses in mind and aims to reduce the overhead of having to buy and integrate an operating system with office and device management apps from different vendors.

The new Microsoft 365 service is Microsoft's biggest step towards offering the Windows OS as a monthly subscription service, moving away from one-time purchases.

Microsoft has previously offered Windows 10 as a subscription purchase before, but only for Windows 10 Enterprise versions. Today's announcement provides more options and is a firmer step in the direction of changing Windows' default commercial licensing model.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise is for larger companies

The company said that Microsoft 365 would be available as two separate services: Microsoft 365 Enterprise for larger companies, and Microsoft 365 Business for smaller companies.

The differences between the two are at the services provided in each pack. For example, Microsoft 365 Enterprise users will have access to a version of Windows 10 Enterprise, while Microsoft 365 Business will have access to Windows 10 Professional editions.

Both Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business users will receive access to Office 365 accounts for their employees, as long with Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security, a cloud-based service for managing employee accounts, mobile devices, virtualized desktops, and other security services.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise will be available in two plans: Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5, both which will become available for purchase starting on August 1, 2017.

Prices are not available, but each company can reach out for a quota based on the number of computers each organization runs.

Microsoft 365 Business is for smaller companies

Smaller companies that have up to 300 employees are eligible for Microsoft 365 Business. This offering will be available for public preview starting on August 2, 2017, and available for general purchase in the fall of 2017.

Microsoft 365 Business will be priced at $20 per user, per month.

The company's move towards a subscription-based model also explains the rumors from last week that Microsoft was getting ready to fire thousands of employees from its sales departments.

More information on Microsoft 365 is available on Microsoft's official website.

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