Microsoft has unveiled major changes to its software offerings by rebranding existing consumer-facing Office 365 subscriptions with an all-new offering under the Microsoft 365 brand.
The new Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans will be available on April 21, with users automatically carried over.
So far there’s only US pricing available, with a single-user Personal account priced at $6.99 per month, and a Family subscription, which can be accessed by up to six users, costing $9.99 a month.
Microsoft 365 updates
Microsoft says that around 38 million people worldwide currently subscribe to Office 365 across Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. These users will be moved over to the new Microsoft 365 service soon, keeping the 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage per person at no extra cost.
Described as, “the subscription service for your life,” the new offering still include access to the full suite of Office programs such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint, with Microsoft promising a number of new features gradually rolling over the coming months.
This includes a new Microsoft Family Safety app which will let families share their location, sending notifications when your family member leaves home, work, or school, as well as letting parents track driving routes to make sure kids arrive home safely.
The services, which will also be available as an iOS and Android app for Microsoft 365 subscribers, also lets parents manage screen time across Windows PCs, Android, and Xbox.
Microsoft Teams is also set to get a consumer-friendly makeover, allowing families to plan activities, trips and share their calendars together.
The new Teams will still allow for group chats, video calls and real-time collaboration, but instead of spreadsheets or business presentations, looks to help with items such as shopping lists and birthday planning.
Elsewhere, there is also a major update to Microsoft Editor, which can now offer rewriting suggestions to essays or dissertations. The service can now insert citations to existing works with just a click, helping cut down on plagiarism, allowing students and teachers a smoother editing experience.
For those that need to then present their documents, PowerPoint offers a new Presenter Coach feature, which looks to help make you a better public speaker. Offering feedback in real time, the tool monitors your tone of voice, speed of speaking and how often you stop or stutter in order to improve all aspects of your presentations.
Excel now makes it easier to manage finances and budgeting with a new Money in Excel feature. Developed alongside money management firm Plaid, this allows users to track spending, connecting to your bank accounts to bring in transactions and balances, as well as sending alerts on spending or changes.
Lastly, Outlook now allows users to link a personal calendar to your work calendar, making sure you never miss an appointment for family matters, and there’s an Android launch for Play My Emails, which sees Cortana read out your messages, so you can catch up on emails hands-free, even when driving or travelling.