Microsoft announces new ‘Microsoft 365 subscription
During a digital event on the 30th of March, 2020, Microsoft has announced a major change to the Office 365 subscription.
The Office 365 subscription has been around since the 28th of June, 2011. Since then, it has helped millions of users to connect with teams, create seamless workflows, share projects and boost productivity. Now, it’s getting even better.
Microsoft just introduced the new Microsoft 365, which aims to be a brand new subscription experience to make your life easier. Built on the strong foundations of Office 365, it expands features and introduces ideas never seen before; complete with new tools, Teams features, and a Family Safety app. Additionally, Microsoft Edge is getting some interesting improvements as well.
Starting from April 21st, all Office 365 subscribers will switch to the new Microsoft 365 experience as the update rolls out over the course of a few months. Some tools and applications may launch in preview at first, and become fully available in upcoming months.
How much is Microsoft 365 going to cost?
Something to rejoice about is the fact that Microsoft 365 will keep the same prices as Office 365. Despite the name change, new tools, and additional apps, a subscription starts from $79 per year (or $8 per month) with Microsoft 365 Personal. Microsoft 365 Family will be available for $109 per year (or $11 per month).
Microsoft 365 also contains the same extra features as Office 365 did. You won’t have to say goodbye to your 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage, the 60 free Skype minutes for making calls, nor the ability to use all Office suite applications without additional charges.
New features in Microsoft 365
Other than simply changing the name of the subscription we all love, Microsoft is bringing many new things into our lives. Let’s take a look at what’s in store after changes go live on April 21st.
New Office app functions
Office users can enjoy the new benefits a Microsoft 365 subscription brings them. With the update, Microsoft aims to expand the possibilities of all Office suite applications and offers many new things to achieve this goal. For example, over 8000 free stock photos will become available to subscribers thanks to the Getty Images team. Word and Excel will also receive a plethora of new fonts, templates, and insertable icons.
Take a look at Excel’s new finance features
Excel’s Insider version is going to receive a new function in the upcoming months, which focuses on analyzing finances. Keep up to date with your spendings and conveniently get information about your money. Now, you’ll even be able to link your bank account to allow Excel to gain immediate information about transactions. The spreadsheet app is also receiving an update to its data types, by the courtesy of Wolfram Alpha.
It’s impossible to even for the best writers to always find the right words and never make any grammar mistakes. However, it’s not impossible for Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is exactly why Microsoft is diving deeper into the market as they expand the Editor feature.
Microsoft Editor is available in over 20 languages, offering support and suggestions to users when writing. As the new subscription comes out, users will be able to take advantage of the Editor in both Word and Outlook.com, but it’s already available as a browser plug-in for Edge and Google Chrome. Interested? Click here to download the extension and start improving your writing.
While the editor is free to access for everyone in the supporter apps and platforms, Microsoft 365 subscribers will get some extra helpful features to further enhance writing. For example, if you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription, you’ll be able to get Rewrite Suggestions to rephrase sentences while not taking away the original meaning.
PowerPoint features powered by AI
While PowerPoint’s AI-driven feature called the Presenter Coach made its debut in June of 2019, it’s about to receive two entirely new features as Microsoft 365 comes to users.
With the updates, the feature will be able to give you feedback on your pitch and point out monotony in the tone of voice of your presentation. All this happens in real-time, along with suggestions on how to vary your speech for more impactful presentations.
The second new feature is speech refinement, which aims to make sure there are no grammar errors in your presentation. It also offers to improve sentence phrasing and helps you construct more understandable speech.
Both of these features will be available as a free preview for an uncertain period of time before becoming exclusive to Microsoft 365 subscribers in the future.
New application: Family Safety
An entirely new application joins Microsoft’s lineup under the Family Safety name. This application is going to be exclusive to Microsoft 365 subscribers and will make its first appearance as a limited preview on iOS and Android devices in the upcoming months.
Microsoft’s goal with the Family Safety app is to help users develop healthy online habits for both parents and children. It’s able to help you manage screen time across different devices, such as Windows PCs, Android smartphones, and Xbox consoles. See what you spend the most time on when online, set up restrictions, and block content such as inappropriate websites or games.
Complete with location sharing, notifications, and even help when your teens are learning to drive, it’s an amazing application to take advantage of to improve the health and habits of your family.
The revamp of Office 365 is certainly exciting for users thanks to the tons of improvements and new features. We hope that our article was able to get you to look forward to the coming months.