Microsoft 365 Announces Personal and Family Subscriptions, New Office Tools
Microsoft today announced the Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions, the first consumer offerings from Microsoft 365.
Microsoft is trying to shift more corporate and consumer users to ongoing subscriptions delivered via the cloud and eliminate the need to persuade them to upgrade to new software every few years.
The company said that on April 21st, Office 365 will become Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 builds on the foundation of Office infusing new artificial intelligence (AI), content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences. These experiences start rolling out today and will reach the over 38 million Office 365 subscribers over the next few months.
Microsoft 365 Personal and Family will be available at $6.99 a month for an individual and $9.99 a month for the family edition, which includes six users. That’s the same price as the previous Office 365 consumer products, which have more than 37 million subscribers, said Yusuf Mehdi, a Microsoft vice president.
In addition, today Microsoft unveiled two new Microsoft 365 experiences that will roll out in preview in the coming months—a new Microsoft Family Safety app designed to keep your family safe across the digital and physical worlds, and new features in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft unveiled a major expansion to Microsoft Editor, an AI-powered service available in more than 20 languages, now accessible across Word and Outlook.com, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Whether you’re writing a paper for school or updating your LinkedIn profile, Editor helps you put your best foot forward as you write.
Anyone can access the essential Editor capabilities, such as spelling and basic grammar across Word, Outlook.com, and the web. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers have access to advanced grammar and style refinements to write with more clarity and conciseness. Here are some of the ways Microsoft 365 subscribers can get even more from the Editor service:
- When you know what you want to say but can’t seem to find the “right” way to say it, just highlight a sentence and right-click for Rewrite Suggestions. Rewrite Suggestions in Word can offer ideas to help you rephrase sentences for more impact or clarity while staying true to your original meaning.
- For the first time ever in Word, Editor’s similarity checker leverages plagiarism-checking capabilities to support writers in creating original content and, when necessary, insert relevant citations right into their document with just a click. This tool allows writers to focus less on the mechanics of writing and more on the content. And teachers love that similarity checker helps students learn how to appropriately cite content.
- Additional style critiques including clarity, conciseness, formality, and inclusiveness assist Microsoft 365 subscribers to write with more confidence across documents, email, and the web. For example, the inclusive language critique can suggest refinements to help a writer avoid unintentional bias by suggesting a writer may want to try a term like “police officer” in place of “policeman.”
One of the most common fears for people around the world is public speaking. Presenter Coach in PowerPoint can help. While you’re rehearsing, Presenter Coach uses AI to detect if you’re talking too fast, saying “umm” too much, or just reading the text from your slides.
Starting today, Microsoft is introducing two new AI-powered features in PowerPoint Presenter Coach exclusively for Microsoft 365 subscribers—monotone pitch and speech refinement. With monotone pitch, Presenter Coach will listen to your tone of voice and give feedback in real-time to suggest adding some variation where needed. With speech refinement, Presenter Coach will give grammar suggestions including how to better phrase your speech. These new Presenter Coach features will be available to everyone through a free preview, and then eventually only to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
In the Powerpoint, the new PowerPoint Designer helps you be more creative while saving you time. For example, with a simple click, you can transform text into a beautiful timeline. Or when you add a picture to your slide, Designer will auto-generate several slide layouts to choose from. To supercharge your creativity, Microsoft is providing Microsoft 365 subscribers with exclusive access to over 8,000 images and 175 looping videos from Getty Images, plus 300 new fonts and 2,800 new icons to create visually appealing documents. And you can use all this new content in Word and Excel too.
To kickstart your school, work, or family project and save time, Microsoft 365 subscribers also get access to 200+ new premium templates across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Microsoft also announced Money in Excel, a new solution for Microsoft 365 subscribers that makes it easy to manage, track, and analyze your money and spending all in one place—Excel.
Through a secure and simple process that connects to your bank and credit card accounts, including major retail banks and community credit unions, Money in Excel lets you import transactions and account balances automatically and customizes your workbook leveraging the rich features of Excel. It can help you improve your spending habits by providing personalized insights on how much you’re spending on categories like groceries each month and proactive alerts about price changes for recurring payments, bank fees, overdraft warnings, and more. Money in Excel will start to become available in the coming months in the U.S. first.
In addition, Microsoft announced a different way to interact with your data. With new data types, you’ll be able to make sense of your data as Excel provides deeper meaning for over 100 topics. These include food, movies, places, chemistry, and even Pokémon. Save time by converting plain text and numbers into a data type and Excel will surface both rich visual and interactive data cards and images that provide a better representation of your data.
Say you want to start keeping better track of your nutrition. Simply enter a food like “avocado” and by converting it to a Food data type, Excel will help you access its nutritional information. With data types, all information can be easily updated, so you always have the latest and relevant data. Anyone can access the Stocks and Geography data types in Excel for the web. And Microsoft 365 subscribers have access to the over 100 new data types powered by Wolfram Alpha. As a Microsoft 365 subscriber, data types will give you the opportunity to:
Easily gather, organize, and analyze the information you need in one place without the hassle of finding, copying, and refreshing the data.
Use new smart templates with data types to do more. They will help you prepare to move to a new city, track your nutrition, or help your kids learn chemistry.
The new data types and smart templates will be available to Office Insiders this spring and to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in the U.S. in the coming months.
Microsoft also announced new features in Outlook on the web that help you manage all your commitments, across your work and life, in one place. With these new features, you can link your personal calendar to your work calendar to show your real availability in your work account, while still maintaining privacy around the details of personal appointments and business meetings.
In addition, Microsoft announced the expansion of Play My Emails on Android—where Cortana provides an intelligent read-out of your emails. Play My Emails can help you catch up and act on what’s new in your inbox whether you are mid-commute or getting ready in the morning, so that you can be fully present when you are home. To further enable hands-free activities, you can now use Microsoft Search that recognizes natural language on iOS and Android. Simply find your results faster and easier by using language you use every day to filter and narrow your search—just speak it or type it. The new search functionality and Play My Emails availability on Android will begin rolling out in the coming months.
To provide one app to help manage work and life and deepen your connection with those who matter most, today Microsoft previewed new features coming to Microsoft Teams for your personal life.
With these new features coming to Teams, you can connect, stay organized, and collaborate with family and friends. Create groups to plan trips with friends; organize a neighborhood gathering or your next book club meeting. You’ll be able to connect in a group chat, make video calls, collaborate over shared to-do lists and assign tasks to specific people, coordinate schedules, share photos and videos, all in one place. Teams gives to you the tools to manage daily life; share grocery lists, organize across family calendars, store important information like Wi-Fi passwords and account info, and even see location updates when loved ones arrive home or at other locations like work or school.
These new features are coming in preview to the Microsoft Teams mobile app in the coming months.
Many parents use multiple screen-time apps and location-based services to help ensure their families are safe in the physical and digital worlds. Unveiled today, Microsoft Family Safety is a new mobile experience coming on iOS and Android for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
Microsoft Family Safety empowers families to help protect their loved ones by giving them the tools and insights to start a conversation promoting healthier habits online and in the real world. The new Microsoft Family Safety app is the only app that manages screen time across Windows PCs, Android, and Xbox while also giving you peace of mind when your kids aren’t home.
Microsoft Family Safety helps you stay connected with location sharing and notifications when a family member arrives or departs a location like home, school, or work, to help give you the peace of mind that your family is where they need to be. And, for inexperienced drivers in the household, you can use driving reports to help build better habits behind the wheel with the peace of mind knowing that we don’t share your information with third parties, such as insurance companies.
You’ll also be able to help protect your kids as they explore and play games online and on their devices. The Microsoft Family Safety app helps you understand how your kids are spending their time across their Xbox, Windows 10 PCs, and Android phones, plus you can set limits to help promote healthy digital habits. Additionally, you’ll be able to help steer them away from content that you feel is not age appropriate as they start browsing the web.
Microsoft is starting with a limited preview of the app across iOS and Android that will be available in the coming months.
The new Office features start rolling out to current Office 365 customers today.
Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions will be available worldwide on April 21st. With Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions you get everything in Office 365, like premium desktop Office apps, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per person, 60 Skype minutes for calling mobile phones and landlines, advanced security features to protect you from malware and phishing attacks, ongoing technical support. Microsoft 365 Personal costs $6.99 USD a month. For the best value, a family of up to six people can use Microsoft 365 Family for $9.99 USD a month.
In addition, Microsoft announced changes to the Office 365 subscriptions for small and medium-sized businesses—and to Office 365 ProPlus. Going forward, all of these products will use the Microsoft 365 brand.
Microsoft 365 began in 2017 as a licensing bundle for enterprise customers—a combination of Windows, Office, and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS).
New product names
The new product names go into effect on April 21, 2020. This is a change to the product name only, and there are no pricing or feature changes at this time.
- Office 365 Business Essentials will become Microsoft 365 Business Basic.
- Office 365 Business Premium will become Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
- Microsoft 365 Business will become Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
- Office 365 Business and Office 365 ProPlus will both become Microsoft 365 Apps. Where necessary Microsoft will use the “for business” and “for enterprise” labels to distinguish between the two.