Microsoft brings Teams to consumers and launches Microsoft 365 personal and family plans – TechCrunch
Microsoft at present introduced a slew of recent merchandise, however on the core of the discharge is a serious change to how the corporate is advertising and marketing its instruments and companies to consumers.
Office 365, which has lengthy been the model for the corporate’s subscription service for its productiveness instruments like Word, Excel and Outlook, goes away. On April 21, it’ll get replaced by new Microsoft 365 plans, together with new personal and family plans (for up to six folks) at $6.99 and $9.99 respectively. That’s the identical value because the current Office 365 Personal and Home plans.
“We are basically evolving our subscription from — in our minds — a set of tools to solutions that help you manage across your work and life,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s CVP of Modern Life, Search and Devices, informed me forward of at present’s announcement.
Microsoft is making related branding adjustments to its enterprise plans for Office 365. They are a bit extra convoluted, with Office 365 Business Premium now referred to as Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Microsoft 365 Business now changing into Microsoft 365 Business Premium, however for essentially the most half, that is about branding whereas costs keep the identical.
These new Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans will embody entry to Outlook and the Office desktop apps for Windows and macOS, 1 terabyte of OneDrive storage per individual (together with limitless entry to the safer OneDrive Personal Vault service) and 50 gigabytes of Outlook.com e-mail storage, Skype name recording and 60 minutes of Skype landline and cell phone calls.
And since that is now Microsoft 365 and not Office 365, you too can get Windows 10 technical help with the subscription, in addition to further safety features to shield you from phishing and malware assaults.
More than 37 million folks at present have personal Office 365 subscriptions and likelihood is these decrease costs will convey extra customers to the platform in the long term. As Mehdi burdened, Microsoft’s free choices aren’t going away.
But with at present’s launch, Microsoft isn’t simply altering the branding and launching these new plans, it’s additionally highlighting fairly a number of new capabilities in its numerous purposes which might be both launching at present or within the coming months.
Microsoft Teams will get a personal version
The spotlight of this launch, particularly given the present state of affairs round COVID-19, is probably going the announcement of Teams for consumers. Teams is already considered one of Microsoft’s quickest rising merchandise for companies with 44 million folks utilizing it. But in its efforts to assist folks bridge their work and personal lives, it’s going to now launch a brand new Teams version for consumers, as properly.
Just like you’ll be able to change between work and personal accounts in Outlook, you’ll quickly give you the chance to do the identical in Teams. The personal groups view will look a bit of bit completely different, with shared calendars for the family, entry to OneDrive vaults, picture sharing, and so forth., however it sits on the identical codebase because the enterprise model. You’ll additionally give you the chance to do video calls and shared to-do lists.
Better writing via AI
About a 12 months in the past, Microsoft introduced that Word Online would get a brand new AI-powered editor that will assist you write higher. You can consider it as a better grammar checker that may repair all your commonplace grammar errors however also can assist you keep away from overly complicated sentences and bias in your phrase selections.
This editor is now the Microsoft Editor, and the corporate is increasing it properly past Word. The new AI-powered service is now obtainable in 20 languages in Word and Outlook.com — and possibly most significantly, it’ll be obtainable as a Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome plug-in, too.
Free customers will get fundamental spelling and grammar options, whereas Microsoft 365 subscribers will get quite a lot of extra superior options like the power to ask the editor to counsel a rewrite of a mangled sentence, a plagiarism checker, type evaluation to see in case your writing is unclear or too formal and entry to an inclusive language critique to assist you keep away from unintentional bias.
If you’ve used Grammarly up to now, then a number of it will sound acquainted. Both companies now provide an identical set of capabilities, however Microsoft could have an edge with its capacity to rewrite sentences.
Better displays via know-how
In an identical vein, Microsoft additionally launched a presentation coach for PowerPoint as a restricted check final September. This AI-driven characteristic helps you keep away from filler phrases and different presentation no-nos.
This characteristic first launched within the on-line model of PowerPoint, with a fundamental set of options. Now, Microsoft 365 subscribers will get two new superior options, too, that may assist you keep away from a monotone pitch that places your viewers to sleep and keep away from grammar errors in your spoken sentences.
Currently, these are nonetheless obtainable as a free preview to all however will develop into Microsoft 365-only options quickly.
PowerPoint can also be getting an up to date Designer to assist you create higher displays. It can now simply flip textual content right into a timeline, for instance, and whenever you add a picture, it might probably current you with a set of potential slide layouts.
Microsoft 365 subscribers now additionally get entry to over eight,000 photos and 175 looping movies from Getty Images, in addition to 300 new fonts and 2,800 new icons.
Excel + Plaid
For you spreadsheet jockeys on the market, Microsoft additionally has some excellent news, particularly if you’d like to use Excel to handle your personal budgets.
In partnership with Plaid, now you can hyperlink your financial institution accounts to Excel and import all your bills into your spreadsheets. With that, you’ll be able to then categorize your spend and construct your personal personal Mint. This characteristic, dubbed “Money in Excel,” will launch within the U.S. within the coming months.
In addition, Excel is getting much more cloud- and AI-driven information varieties that now cowl over 100 subjects, together with diet, motion pictures, locations, chemistry and — as a result of why not — Pokémon. Like a number of the earlier options, that is an extension of the work Microsoft did on Excel in the previous few years, beginning with the power to pull in inventory market and geographical information.
And identical to with the earlier set of options, you’ll want a Microsoft 365 subscription to get entry to these further information varieties. Otherwise, you’ll stay restricted to the inventory market and geography information varieties, which can develop into obtainable to Office Insiders within the spring and then Personal and Family subscribers within the U.S. within the coming months.
Outlook will get extra personal
Even although it’s your decision to overlook about Outlook and ignore your inbox for some time, Microsoft doesn’t. In Outlook on the internet, now you can hyperlink your personal and work calendars to make sure you don’t find yourself with a piece assembly in the course of a personal appointment, as a result of Chris from advertising and marketing actually wants one other sync assembly throughout your health club time though a brief e-mail would suffice.
Outlook for Android can now summarize and learn your emails aloud for you, too. This characteristic will roll out within the coming months.
While many of the new options right here deal with current purposes, Microsoft can also be launching one utterly new app: Microsoft Family Safety. This app is coming to Microsoft 365 subscribers on iOS and Android and will convey collectively a set of instruments that may assist households handle their on-line actions and monitor the situation of family members.
The app lets households handle the display screen time of their children (and possibly mother and father, too) throughout Windows, Android and Xbox, for instance. Parents also can set content material filters that solely permit children to obtain age-appropriate apps. But it additionally permits mother and father to monitor their children in the true world via location monitoring and even driving stories. This, as Mehdi burdened, is a characteristic that children can flip off, however they’ll in all probability have to clarify themselves to their mother and father then. Indeed, he burdened that a number of what the app does is give mother and father an opportunity to have a dialog with their children. What makes the service distinctive is that it really works throughout platforms, with iOS help coming sooner or later.
This app is launching as a restricted preview now and will probably be obtainable within the coming months (I feel you’ll be able to spot a pattern right here).
Mehdi famous that Microsoft can also be partnering with corporations like Adobe, Bark, Blinkist, Creative Live, Experian, Headspace and TeamSnap to present Microsoft 365 subscribers with further advantages like limited-time entry to their merchandise and companies. Subscribers will get three months of free entry to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan, for instance.
At the core of at present’s updates, although, is a mission to convey a number of the productiveness instruments that folks know from their work life to their personal life, too, with the personal version of Teams being the core instance.
“We’re very much excited to bring this type of value — not increase the price of Office 365 — take a big step forward, and then move to this,” Mehdi mentioned. “We think now more than ever, it is valuable for people to have the subscription service for their life that helps them make the most of their time, protects their family, lets them develop and grow. And our goal or aspiration is: Can we give you the most valuable subscription for your life? I know people value their video subscriptions and music subscriptions. Our aspiration is to provide the most valuable subscription for your life via Microsoft 365 Personal and Family.”