At the end of January 2014 it was rumored that Office Web Apps would be rebranded, much the same way that SkyDrive was just renamed to OneDrive, but for different reasons. SkyDrive was a required change due to litigations by the UK broadcasting company BSkyB, who seems to think they have lordship over the word 'sky.' Funny, but true.
Office Web Apps simply needed a new name. Microsoft has a long history of choosing the most horrid, unmentionable, almost detestable names for products. If you want a good example, just look at the entire suite branding for System Center. System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager – I could go on, but what's the use? It gets boring and frustrating the longer I try.
So, it's actually a good thing that Microsoft chose to rebrand Office Web Apps, giving it the simpler, easier to understand moniker of Office Online. When the rumor was originally suggested, I noted that I don't particularly like it. Granted, it's better than Office Web Apps, but I think it could be better. Do we start calling Office 2013: Office Offline?
Still, many have already voiced support for the new name. In one respect, I do see the value since consumers and end-users will know immediately that it's Office and it's online. I get that. I guess it'll grow on me.
As part of the renaming, Microsoft has also updated the front page of Office.com, giving it a now familiar, tiled look. And, once logged in to a valid account, each tile is clickable and linked to the appropriate application.