Microsoft prepares to rebrand free Office Web Apps as “Office Online”

Microsoft is tinkering with its Office product yet again, and this time Redmond is taking steps to implement a rebrand of Office Web Apps in order to make it clearer what the free offering is all about.

The suite of Office Web Apps has been around for a few years now, but it would seem that some people are confused as to exactly how it relates to Office, and where to find the apps – hence the move to clarify things with a new name: “Office Online.”

ZDNet spotted a screen grab of a chart showing an upcoming breakdown of Office products – a comparison page which listed Office 365 Premium, Office 365 University, and the new Office Online.

Office Online is listed as the free option, with 7GB of free online (SkyDrive, or OneDrive, rather) storage, and online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Previously Microsoft had positioned these web apps in relation to SkyDrive, which apparently was a point of some confusion for customers when it came to figuring out how they pertained to the core Office product.

Microsoft has, of course, shifted to the cloud with Office 365, and the basic Home Premium version costs £80 per year for a 5 user license (or you can pay £7.99 per month).