Today is the day. The day Office 365 re-establishes its identity as Microsoft 365. It was late last month when Microsoft made their first big announcement of the year. Happily, for us, it was all about us consumers. You and I, basically. That may be indicative of a new and wider direction that the company wants to take. It is all about the Microsoft 365 subscription, which replaces the Office 365 subscription packages that have been around for many years. This is part of a larger revamp by the company to be able to include more upcoming products into the subscription bundles. If you are already an Office 365 user and have subscribed to one of the subscription options, nothing changes for you. Except the branding. For starters, Microsoft 365 subscription bundles will replace the Office 365 consumer plans that we can subscribe to at this time. Then there is the all the Microsoft Family Safety app, a consumer version of Microsoft Teams and also an AI-powered service called Microsoft Editor.
First things first, the Microsoft 365 subscriptions. How much will they cost? The new subscription plans replace the current Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions—and the changeover happens automatically. The new Microsoft 365 Personal subscription costs Rs 4199 a year while Microsoft 365 Family option is priced at Rs 5299 a year and can be shared with up to 6 users. Before this change, Office 365 Home for up to 6 people costs Rs 5,299 per year while Office 365 Personal for single user is priced at Rs 4,199 per year. The Microsoft 365 plans will include access to the Office apps including Word, Outlook and Publisher, as well as the OneDrive cloud storage and video chat platform Skype.
“More than 38 million people subscribe to Office 365, which includes the modern, most up-to-date Office desktop apps, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per person (enough to store thousands of high res photos or hundreds of hours of videos), 60 Skype minutes to call mobile phones and landlines, advanced security to protect you from malware and phishing, and ongoing technical support,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Modern Life, Search & Devices, Microsoft, at the time
There will be additions to Microsoft 365 in the coming months. The first will be the Microsoft Family Safety app. This is designed as a tool for parents to get insights on the activity of their child, on Windows PCs, Android phones and the Xbox console, all synced in one place. The location sharing feature should allow families to be up to date with critical movements, like when their child reaches or leaves school or if a parent has reached work safely. Microsoft says a preview of the app rolls out for Android and iOS in the coming months, before a full roll-out later in the year.
Microsoft 365 users should also be getting a new AI-powered Editor feature on Word, Outlook.com and as extensions for the Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome web browsers. It will offer sentence Rewrite suggestions, check for plagiarism and make suggestions for clarity, conciseness, formality and inclusiveness. Microsoft 365 subscribers will also get exclusive access to more than 200 new PowerPoint templates and thousands of images and videos from Getty Images. Microsoft is also bundling in 300 new fonts and 2,800 new icons for use across Office.
Microsoft also has a new Password Monitor feature for its Edge web browser. This will let you know if any of the passwords you have saved for online accounts in the Edge web browser, have been compromised in data breaches.