Why Microsoft is making account switching for Microsoft 365 easier than ever

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  • Why Microsoft is making account switching for Microsoft 365 easier than ever

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One of the most valuable features of any Microsoft 365 subscription plan is the ability to use web-based versions of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and even the popular Visio apps. Available from any modern web browser, the Microsoft 365 web apps store documents in Microsoft’s globally available secure cloud infrastructure. Even the least expensive Microsoft 365 Business Basic plan, often used by sole proprietors and small businesses, empowers every employee to use these powerful web-based Microsoft productivity apps to connect and collaborate with amazing efficiency.

The obvious limitation of any web-based app is the need for stable internet connectivity: if you can’t connect to the internet, then you can’t properly use a web browser. No internet access means no web-based apps. But one of the limitations of Microsoft 365 web app users such as sole proprietors and small business owners often run into is you can only use one Microsoft 365 account at a time.

What is the benefit of easy account switching in Microsoft 365 web apps?

For example, imagine Diana is a sole proprietor with contracts to provide consulting services for two separate businesses, Company A and Company B. In this scenario, Diana the sole proprietor consultant uses Microsoft 365 Business Basic to access her Outlook email along with all the web-based Microsoft Office productivity apps in a web browser. If Diana wants to collaborate with Company A on a cloud-based Word document using the co-authoring feature and also send Company B a status report email from her Outlook, then she cannot open multiple tabs in her web browser to switch between the Word document and her own Outlook email. The reason? Microsoft 365 web apps require all users to sign in using one account at a time. This limitation keeps multiple users’ and companies’ accounts separate and applies to both Microsoft 365 Business and Personal software licenses.

This has meant that Microsoft 365 users have learned to live with workarounds such as creating separate profiles in a browser, physically using different brands of browsers to segregate workflows, and keeping all personal content off a work computer. However, starting in April 2022, Microsoft is enabling easy account switching for all Microsoft 365 software licenses. Rather than being forced to use the workarounds, users can sign into multiple work and personal accounts on Microsoft 365 web apps in the same browser. This feature also allows users to seamlessly switch between the accounts without having to sign out and sign back in again.

How does easy Microsoft account switching affect Microsoft 365 desktop apps?

While this feature will be welcomed by anyone who has ever used Microsoft 365 web apps, the new easy account switching feature does not affect users on Microsoft 365 desktop apps. For most users with Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium software licenses, the web-based apps are there for convenience rather than the primary usage scenario for accessing Outlook email, the productivity apps, and collaborating in Microsoft Teams. Organizations deploying Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium plans often enable remote device management on a company-wide basis. The built-in device management capabilities of Microsoft 365 such as enabling data loss prevention (DLP) and other cyber-security features help keep users (and any corporate-owned data) secure when accessing the cloud-powered features of Microsoft 365 desktop apps. The majority of all Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Premium license holders should take full advantage of these features to increase their overall cyber-security posture for a hybrid workforce.

Amaxra helps optimize your Microsoft 365 Business plan for simplicity and security

Whether you are a sole proprietor with a Microsoft 365 Business Basic or a small-to-midsized business (SMB) with a Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Premium, or Enterprise plan, the experts at Amaxra can help you optimize your Microsoft 365 deployment. As a Gold-level Microsoft Partner, Amaxra understands Microsoft software licensing inside out. We can identify and sort out the Microsoft software licenses you own to identify how you can optimize these deployments for user simplicity and security. Amaxra customers often save a significant amount of money on Microsoft software licenses with our optimization services.