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Dec 4, 2023

Microsoft's Strategic Evolution with Product Renaming

 

Issy-les-Moulineaux, France - July 2, 2023: Facade of the French headquarters of Microsoft, an American multinational that develops, manufactures, licenses and markets computer softwareIssy-les-Moulineaux, France - July 2, 2023: Facade of the French headquarters of Microsoft, an American multinational that develops, manufactures, licenses and markets computer software

Microsoft has been a well-known and reliable technology company for years, providing users with productivity applications not only for our individual purposes but also for work processes. If you have been a customer of Microsoft, you may have noticed various changes the company consistently rolls out, whether it is software updates, changes in designs, or even the renaming of products. Over time, Microsoft has demonstrated its drive for innovation and improvement, striving to enhance user experiences and adapt to the evolving landscape of technology.

Follow this link to see Microsoft’s evolution of renaming products.

In October 2023, the company announced that it was renaming Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), a cloud-based identity and access management application, to Microsoft Entra ID. The company stated they changed the name for several reasons:

  1. To communicate the multi-cloud, multiplatform functionality of the products
  2. To alleviate confusion with Windows Server Active Directory
  3. To unify the Microsoft Entra product family.

(Microsoft).

Microsoft’s move to rename Azure Active Directory is a strategic move that can offer several benefits for the company, and essentially, there are various reasons that name changes occur. In this blog, we will go into more depth on why Microsoft renames products and the benefits it brings for not only the company but also your business processes.

To Clarify the Purpose of the Product

Microsoft’s goal to change a product's name can sometimes be to communicate the purpose and functionality of a product or service. Renaming a product to better reflect its features, capabilities, or target audience makes it easier for users to understand its intended use. This helps avoid confusion and ensures that customers clearly understand what the product or service is designed to accomplish.

To Apply a Consistent Brand

In some cases, the company may unify a product’s brand to be recognizable to users. For example, in 2022, Microsoft’s product Yammer was changed to Microsoft Viva to rebrand to reflect the Viva Engage branding to better align with Microsoft Viva. Overall, this consistency helps build a stronger brand identity for users.

To Combine Names into a Single Offering.

Combining products into a single offering, exemplified by integrating Office 365 and Dynamics 365 into Microsoft 365, serves multiple purposes. This decision enhances the user experience by providing a seamless and integrated platform where productivity tools and business applications coexist. This strategic move also positions Microsoft competitively, offering a comprehensive suite of tools and services to meet the diverse demands of businesses and users.

Legal Reasons

In rare cases, the company may have had to change the name of a product for legal reasons. For example, Microsoft had to change its cloud storage and syncing service “SkyDrive” to “OneDrive” after it lost its trademark lawsuit, which a British broadcasting group filed. The rebranding allowed Microsoft to continue offering its cloud storage service without legal challenges.

While Microsoft’s renaming of products may cause some confusion or frustration among users, these actions are strategically driven to align product branding with Microsoft’s vision and goals. Consistent and clear branding is imperative for effective marketing and communication with users, and a unified naming strategy makes it easier to enhance brand recognition and simplify the overall user experience.

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