Microsoft News

Microsoft launches M365 Personal & Family

Microsoft today launched the consumer version of its Microsoft 365 suite of applications and services at a virtual event which was invite only.

Few years ago Microsoft had introduced Microsoft 365 for Enterprise subscription which comprised of Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility & Security.

But for better part of last year, we heard a lot about the consumer subscription of Microsoft 365 (M365), thanks to Zdnet’s Mary Jo Foley who mostly talked about M365 for Life and its coming.

I am a big fan of Office 365 Home and have been using it since its launch. M365 today actually replaces the Personal and Home editions of Office 365. Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft isn’t simply re-branding it but also introducing ton of new features.

Microsoft 365 Personal & Family

Releasing on April 21st, Microsoft calls this Subscription for your Life to help you make the most of your time, connect, and protect the ones you love, and to develop and grow.

Yusuf writes,

An evolution of Office 365, Microsoft 365 builds on the foundation of Office infusing new artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences to empower you to become a better writer, presenter, designer, manager of your finances, and deepen your connection to the people in your life. These experiences start rolling out today and will reach the over 38 million Office 365 subscribers over the next few months.

Yusuf Mehdi – Corporate VP, Modern Life, Search & Devices

Microsoft also talked about Family Safety app – designed to keep your family safe across the physical and digital worlds and new features in Microsoft Teams – specifically revolving around connecting your families and friends and collaborate.

Similar service to Grammerly, Microsoft Editor is AI powered that works in Microsoft Word, Outlook and with a browser extension works with new Edge and Chrome.

Microsoft Editor

With Microsoft Editor – as part of the M365 Personal & Family subscription, the user will have access to advanced grammar and style refinements to write with more clarity.

Some ways M365 Personal & Family users can benefit:

  • Highlight sentence for Rewrite suggestions
  • First time in Word, Editor can check for Plagiarism-checking support
  • More styles critiques including clarity, conciseness, formality and inclusiveness assist.

Microsoft has also added some new Design Ideas (AI powered) in PowerPoint

Exclusive to M365 Personal & Family subscribers, with over 8,000 images and 175 looping videos, 300 new fonts and 2,800 new icons to create high impact and visually appealing documents/presentations. The same will be available for Word and Excel.

Introducing Money in Excel.

Excel’s new feature – simply called Money is also exclusive to M365 users, a feature to track, analyze, manage money and spending in Excel.

Microsoft with Outlook is also helping connect your personal and work life. By simply adding Personal & Work calendars into one so when you are scheduling a meeting, you can always check whether it is colliding with your personal appointments.

Surprisingly, Skype has seen 70% growth month over month, and over 40 million users use it daily. Microsoft is introducing Meet Now feature in Skype, which lets make video calls easy with no sign ups or downloads. Sounds like Zoom to me.

Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Teams is now used by over 44 million users globally. With M365, Microsoft is introducing new features for Microsoft Teams for your Personal Life.

With these new features coming to Teams, you can connect, stay organized, and collaborate with family and friends. Create groups to plan trips with friends; organize a neighborhood gathering or your next book club meeting. You’ll be able to connect in a group chat, make video calls, collaborate over shared to-do lists and assign tasks to specific people, coordinate schedules, share photos and videos, all in one place.

With Microsoft Family Safety, a new app for iOS and Android to keep your family safe from physical and digital worlds,

Microsoft Family Safety

Family Safety app helps families manage screen time, stay connected with location based notifications when a family member arrives or departs a location and protect kids from online privacy, set timings for playing games online, Xbox and PC.

Rolling out in April, Microsoft 365 Personal costs USD 6.99 and Family plan for USD 9.99. Among many other features you also get Office suite, 1TB of OneDrive storage, 60 Skype minutes for calling mobile phones and landlines.

For those who are current subscribers to Office 365 Personal & Home, they will automatically get switched to the new Microsoft 365 Personal & Family with their respective plans by next month.

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