Microsoft 365 subscription (source Microsoft)
Rebranding

Microsoft introduces Microsoft 365 to replace Office 365 subscriptions

Microsoft 365 is the new subscription service that replaces Office 365, brings new features, and all at the same price.

Microsoft has announced the new “Microsoft 365 Family” and “Microsoft 365 Personal” subscriptions during an online-only press event. The new plans are aimed to replace and improve the existing Office 365 plans, including the Office 365 Home and Personal.

The new Microsoft 365 plans are available starting April 21, 2020, and pricing will remain the same at $9.99 per month for the Family plan, which allows you to use the apps and services with up to six people, and $6.99 per month for the Personal plan that is available for one person.

The new plans include all the Office apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, and additional services and features, such as Microsoft Family Safety and Microsoft Teams, which will rollout gradually to subscribers in the coming months.

Microsoft Family Safety

Microsoft Family Safety brings the family features available on a Microsoft account to an app allowing members to share their location and manage screen time for apps, games, and devices, including Windows 10, Xbox, and Android, for young members.

Microsoft Family Safety app (source Microsoft)
Microsoft Family Safety app (source Microsoft)

The app also includes a feature to receive a notification when a user leaves the home, work, or school. In addition, the app offers driving reports, which is a feature that has been designed to let parents track young-adult drivers.

Microsoft Family Safety will be initially available as a limited preview in the coming months.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a real-time collaboration and messaging platform designed for businesses, but now the software giant is making available a home version of the platform. The new variant has been designed to allow family members and friends connect in group chats, voice, and video calls. In addition, users will be able to share photos, to-do lists, and many other type of contents.

Microsoft Teams app (source Microsoft)
Microsoft Teams app (source Microsoft)

Although Teams for consumers sounds similar to Skype, the communication app will continue to be available, but the company seems to be shifting focus to the new premium platform.

Microsoft Teams is expected to start rolling out as preview during the summer.

Microsoft Editor

In addition to these main new features, the company is also planning to rollout a number of new additions for Office. For instance, there’s a new Microsoft Editor for Word that is a more capable proofing feature than the built-in spell checker and grammar, and it’s been designed to improve your writing skills by suggesting ways to enhance your writing style and surfacing words that you repeat too many times.

Microsoft Editor (source Microsoft)
Microsoft Editor (source Microsoft)

The Microsoft Editor is available for free in more than 20 languages on Word, Outlook.com, and through an extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. However, Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers will have access to more advanced grammar and style refinements.

PowerPoint Presenter Coach

As part of the PowerPoint improvements, Microsoft 365 customers will get an updated version of the “Presenter Coach” with speech and monotone pitch improvements.

If you’re not familiar with the “Presenter Coach,” this is a feature that uses AI to help you rehearsal for a presentation by detecting if you’re speaking too fast, say “umm” to many times, or you’re just reading text from your slides.

Money in Excel

In Excel, Microsoft is now bringing new features to help users take control of their finances. When using Microsoft 365, Excel will be able to connect to your bank account to import transactions, balances, and create alerts for fees and spending.

Money in Excel (source Microsoft)
Money in Excel (source Microsoft)

The app will now be able to handle more data types, including places, movies, food, and 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.” — Microsoft explains.

For example, you could enter a fruit like “banana” and by converting it to a “Food” data type, Excel will help you access its nutritional information

In total there are there over 100 new data types, and they’re powered by Wolfram Alpha.

The company isn’t sharing exactly when this feature will be available, but it’s expected to arrive in the coming months.

Outlook calendar link

If you use Outlook, you’ll soon be able to link your work and personal calendars on the web making it possible to view your real availability in your work account, while maintaining privacy around the details of personal appointments and work meetings.

Outlook personal calendar (source Microsoft)
Outlook personal calendar (source Microsoft)

Furthermore, Office for Microsoft 365 members will include additional 200 new document templates, 300 new font families, 2800 new icons, and images and videos from Getty.

Microsoft Edge Password Monitor

In addition, the company is also revealing a new Password Monitor feature for Microsoft Edge. The feature is identical to the Chrome password leak detection, and it’ll let you know if any of your passwords have been compromised in database breaches, that way, you can change them to something more secure.

Perhaps one of the most interesting features coming to the Chromium version of Edge is the new vertical tabs feature, which allows you to stack tabs at the side of the browser, instead of at the top.

Microsoft Edge vertical tabs (source Microsoft)
Microsoft Edge vertical tabs (source Microsoft)

Finally, Microsoft is partnering with other software companies, such as Adobe, Bark, Creative Live, Blinklist, Experian, TeamSnap, and among others to offer trial access to subscribers.

If you’re planning to get an Office 365 subscription, you don’t have to wait, you can subscribe now, and in the coming weeks, you’ll be transferred automatically to Microsoft 365 with all the new available new benefits for the same price.