Office 365 Is Now Microsoft 365: What It Means for You and Your Family
Microsoft’s Office 365 service has represented great value for Office users for several years. However, in March 2020, the company announced some changes to the service, including a new name. As of April 21, 2020, Office 365 will be known as Microsoft 365.
Let’s take a look at what Microsoft 365 offers, including new tools for families.
Microsoft 365 Is Still Office 365
In case you’re not familiar, Office 365 was available in two plans for home users: Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home. After the change, Office 365 Personal has become Microsoft 365 Personal and Office 365 Home was rebranded as Microsoft 365 Family.
Microsoft 365 Personal is for one person across all their devices. Meanwhile, Microsoft 365 Family provides the same benefits for up to six people in a family, on all their devices.
The Personal plan is $6.99/month (or $69.99 for a year), while Family is $9.99 per month (or $99.99 for a year).
Both include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, plus Access and Publisher on Windows only. In addition to always having the latest versions of these Office apps, you also get 1TB of OneDrive storage and 60 minutes of Skype credit every month.
If you’re an existing Office 365 subscriber, your plan changes to Microsoft 365 as of April 21. You won’t need to do anything, and won’t experience any disruptions in service since Microsoft 365 has everything Office 365 had and more.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some of the new features Microsoft 365 brings.
The Microsoft Editor service, which was once exclusive to Word, will now be available in Word, Outlook.com, and across the web with a browser extension.
If you’ve used tools like Grammarly , this will be familiar to you. Microsoft Editor lets you check your writing for issues with grammar, clarity, formality, long sentences, and other common issues.
The basic features of Editor are free, but you need a Microsoft 365 subscription to access everything.
One of the standout stools includes Rewrite Suggestions, which lets you highlight a sentence and ask Word to help you rephrase it. Doing so lets you improve the sentence quality without changing the meaning of what you want to say.
The tool also includes enhanced plagiarism checking. This helps students know if they need to insert citations and thus do so easily. Given that Grammarly Premium costs $139.95 per year, this is a great value on its own.
Presenter Coach in PowerPoint
If you’re one of the many people who fear public speaking, the updated Presenter Coach tool in PowerPoint can help you better prepare. As you rehearse your presentation, the coach will give you real-time feedback on your voice.
Until now, the Coach would let you know if you talked too fast, said filler words like “um” too much, or read from your slides. However, the tool is getting some new tricks with Microsoft 365.
One of these is monotone pitch detection. Now, the Presenter Coach will give you real-time feedback on your voice. If your presentation sounds too one-note, you’ll see suggestions on how to improve. Another neat function will give you grammar suggestions so you can phrase parts of your speech more smoothly.
Manage Your Money in Excel
There are lots of great budgeting apps to help you keep track of your money. If you don’t use any of them yet or want to cut out a subscription, a new feature in Excel might be a fit for you.
Money in Excel allows you to connect your bank and credit card accounts to the software. After doing this, you can easily import transactions to see where your money has gone.
And thanks to Excel’s data-crunching tools, you’ll get personalized recommendations to take control of your money. These include when subscriptions change in price, you’re charged a bank fee, or other easy-to-miss entries.
Microsoft Teams for Families
Microsoft Teams, like Slack, is intended as a business communication and collaboration tool. However, in 2020, Microsoft is bringing new features to Teams that make it suitable for personal use.
These allow you to, for example, create a group for your neighborhood friends or small club. All the power of Teams is here, meaning you can use it to chat one-on-one, make video calls, share media, and much more. Families can use the tool to manage all their calendars, store shared account info, and check in on the location of their children.
If you struggle to keep track of everything related to your family or other small group, Teams could be a great way to get it under control.
Microsoft Family Safety
Microsoft also unveiled a new app called Microsoft Family Safety, which will roll out in 2020. This is designed as a complete screen time-tracking and location tracking solution for parents.
Notably, the service will allow you to see your children’s screen time across Windows, Android, and Xbox. You can see where they spend the most time and what apps they use. This combines with location services so you can know when someone gets home or arrives at work.
We’ve looked at other parental management solutions in the past, but this could be a great solution if your family primarily uses the platforms that Microsoft Family Safety supports.
Much More With Microsoft 365
While we’ve looked at the highlights above, Microsoft 365 brings even more little touches to Office. For instance, PowerPoint Designer provides tons of new backgrounds, images, and fonts to dress up boring slides with little work.
Excel will also receive new data types that let you import information about food, places, animals, and more. These automatically update to let you make comparisons and create powerful tables without manually copying tons of data.
As an added bonus, Microsoft 365 subscribers receive a slew of benefits from Microsoft partners. Check the Partner Benefits page to redeem these, where you’ll find offers like a free month of Headspace and three free months of Adobe CC.
With little extras like this, Microsoft 365 will continue to provide a great value. Between Office apps, OneDrive storage, and access to advanced grammar tools, you get a lot for the money here.
The Best of Microsoft With Microsoft 365
It’s clear that Microsoft 365 will offer even more value than Office 365 did, all at the same price. Even if you only use Office apps occasionally, the extra benefits are enticing.
Unfortunately, the standalone Office 2019 does not include any of these benefits. The enhanced features in Office we looked at are exclusive to Microsoft 365 subscribers. That’s why we think it’s not worth buying Office 2019 .