Microsoft’s Office 365 got a refresh and is now known simply as Microsoft 365. The cloud- and subscription-based service is now infused with artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences. These experiences have been rolled out recently and are expected to reach over 38 million Office 365 subscribers over the next few months.
“Now more than ever, as many of us work and learn remotely, we are acutely aware of all the different ways life can interrupt work and work can interrupt life,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, Windows and Devices Group. “We now offer a powerful set of free applications and services that help users create, share, connect, and collaborate with their friends and family across the web and on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. Used by more than a half-billion people, free Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive apps enable people to co-author, video chat, organize, and come together. We are committed to improving and innovating on these experiences every day,”
Microsoft also unveiled two new Microsoft 365 experiences that will be available for preview in the coming months.
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Firstly, a new Microsoft Family Safety app designed to keep families safe across the digital and physical worlds. Next, to provide one application to help manage work and life and deepen connections with those who matter most, Microsoft also previewed new features coming to Microsoft Teams for users’ personal life today. With these new features, users can connect, stay organized, and collaborate with family and friends. They will be able to connect in group chats, make video calls, collaborate over shared to-do lists, assign tasks to specific people and coordinate schedules, as well as share photos and videos all in one place.
The new Microsoft Edge browser also takes a step forward with new features to protect users on the web with Password Monitor, and to simplify research with Collections. You can learn more about all the new Edge features here, as well as the entire suite of new features available with Microsoft 365 below.
AI-Powered Microsoft Editor: To help people put their best foot forward at home and at work, Microsoft Editor — an AI-powered service available in more than 20 languages — is now accessible across Word and Outlook.com, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers have access to advanced grammar and style refinements such as rewrite suggestions and additional style critiques to allow greater clarity and conciseness.
Presenter Coach Features in PowerPoint: An AI-powered Presenter that helps correct monotone pitch and refine speeches. This will be available as a free preview, and then eventually only to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
PowerPoint Designer: This feature effectively boosts creativity, such as transforming text into a beautiful timeline, or even auto-generated slide layouts. Microsoft is providing Microsoft 365 subscribers with exclusive access to over 8,000 beautiful images and 175 looping videos from Getty Images, plus 300 new fonts, 2,800 new icons and 200+ new premium templates to create high-impact and visually appealing documents.
Managing Finances Seamlessly with Money in Excel: A new solution for Microsoft 365 subscribers that help users seamlessly manage, track and analyze their money and spending all in one place through a secure and simple process that connects to the user’s bank and credit card accounts, including major retail banks and community credit unions,
New Data Types and Smart Templates in Excel: This presents a different and less time-consuming way to interact with data, providing deeper meaning for over 100 topics. Microsoft 365 subscribers have exclusive access to the over 100 new data types powered by Wolfram Alpha.
Organizing Time Across Work and Life with Outlook: New features in Outlook on the web help users manage all commitments, across work and life, in one place. With these new features, they can link their personal calendar to their work calendar to show their real availability, while still maintaining their privacy.
Deepen Connections with Family and Friends with Skype and Microsoft Teams: Skype has seen an increase in usage with 40 million people using it daily, up 70% month over month and, we are seeing a 220% increase in Skype to Skype calling minutes month over month. To help people get connected even faster, Microsoft recently introduced a new feature in Skype called Meet Now, that allows users to easily create video meetings in as little as three clicks for free, with no sign-ups or downloads required.
Protecting Families in the Physical and Digital Worlds with Microsoft Family Safety: Unveiled today, this application empowers families to help protect their loved ones by giving them the tools and insights to discuss 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 providing parents a peace of mind when the kids are not home.
The new Office features start are already available to customers. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions will be available worldwide on April 21st. These include 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 users from malware and phishing attacks, ongoing technical support, plus all the new features and benefits announced today. Microsoft 365 Personal costs $6.99 a month. For the best value, a family of up to six people can use Microsoft 365 Family for $9.99 a month.