Microsoft first unveiled its Microsoft 365 bundle of Windows 10 and Office for businesses and schools back in 2017. While a bundle of buying Office and Windows licenses makes sense for commercial customers, Microsoft is also looking to launch a similar bundle for consumers. Speaking to journalists at a media event earlier this week, attended by The Verge, CEO Satya Nadella gave some hints that Microsoft 365 will appear for consumers.
Microsoft has been increasingly focusing on business customers recently, and Nadella answered a question around Microsoft’s consumer focus at the event. Nadella admits that the software giant “made a bunch of mistakes by just saying let’s just enter every category, just because we’re a software company,” and it’s now picking its battles wisely for business vs. consumer. Part of that battle is subscriptions. “I think about Microsoft 365 as a two-sided market,” says Nadella. “What we are doing with Office 365 or what we will soon be talking about as Microsoft 365 consumer subscriptions, those would be again completely consumer businesses.”
Stratechery has published Nadella’s full comments from the day, but his hint suggests that Office 365 may well be renamed Microsoft 365 for consumers. Job listings, spotted by ZDNet in December, suggested a Microsoft 365 consumer bundle was on the way. It’s possible the subscription will offer a combination of Office 365, Skype, Cortana, and Outlook Mobile. It’s not clear how Windows 10 will factor into Microsoft 365 for consumers, though. Consumers typically purchase devices with a Windows 10 license, and most people do not buy Windows itself unless they’re building their own PC. Still, Microsoft could offer some additional benefits to Microsoft 365 within Windows itself.