By Yusuf Mehdi
The subscription service for your life to make the most of your time, connect, and protect the ones you love
Now more than ever, as many of us work and learn remotely, we’re acutely aware of all the different ways life can interrupt work and work can interrupt life. It’s never been more important to stay connected and on top of the things that matter. Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared what Microsoft is doing to help organizations, employees, teachers, parents, and students in these challenging times. And most recently we launched a new website for families to discover Microsoft tools and resources to help them connect, learn, and play at home. Aligned with our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, we want to help you and your family across work, school, and life.
Today, we offer a powerful set of free applications and services that help you create, share, connect, and collaborate with your 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 you to coauthor, video chat, organize, and come together. We are committed to improving and innovating on these experiences every day.
In addition, 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.
Today, we are delighted to announce that on April 21st, Office 365 will become Microsoft 365, the 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. 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.
In addition, today we unveiled two new Microsoft 365 experiences that will roll out in preview in the coming months—a new Microsoft Family Safety app designed to keep your family safe across the digital and physical worlds, and new features in Microsoft Teams that bring you closer to your friends and family to more deeply connect and collaborate on the things that matter most to you.
Finally, the new Microsoft Edge browser takes another step forward with new features to protect you on the web with Password Monitor, and to simplify research with Collections. You can learn more about all the new Edge features here.
Bring out your best writer with Microsoft Editor
Writing doesn’t come easy for many of us. In fact, our research shows that about half of us aspire to become better writers. That’s why today, we unveiled a major expansion to Microsoft Editor, an AI-powered service available in more than 20 languages, now accessible across Word and Outlook.com, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Whether you’re writing a paper for school or updating your LinkedIn profile, Editor helps you put your best foot forward as you write.
Anyone can access the essential Editor capabilities, such as spelling and basic grammar across Word, Outlook.com, and the web. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers have access to advanced grammar and style refinements to write with more clarity and conciseness. Here are some of the exclusive ways Microsoft 365 subscribers can get even more from the Editor service:
- When you know what you want to say but can’t seem to find the “right” way to say it, just highlight a sentence and right-click for Rewrite Suggestions. Rewrite Suggestions in Word can offer ideas to help you rephrase sentences for more impact or clarity while staying true to your original meaning.
- For the first time ever in Word, Editor’s similarity checker leverages plagiarism-checking capabilities to support writers in creating original content and, when necessary, insert relevant citations right into their document with just a click. This tool allows writers to focus less on the mechanics of writing and more on the content. And teachers love that similarity checker helps students learn how to appropriately cite content.
- Additional style critiques including clarity, conciseness, formality, and inclusiveness assist Microsoft 365 subscribers to write with more confidence across documents, email, and the web. For example, the inclusive language critique can suggest refinements to help a writer avoid unintentional bias by suggesting a writer may want to try a term like “police officer” in place of “policeman.”
Become a better presenter in PowerPoint
One of the most common fears for people around the world is public speaking. Presenter Coach in PowerPoint can help. While you’re rehearsing, Presenter Coach uses AI to detect if you’re talking too fast, saying “umm” too much, or just reading the text from your slides.
Starting today, we’re introducing two new AI-powered features in PowerPoint Presenter Coach exclusively for Microsoft 365 subscribers—monotone pitch and speech refinement. With monotone pitch, Presenter Coach will listen to your tone of voice and give feedback in real-time to suggest adding some variation where needed. With speech refinement, Presenter Coach will give grammar suggestions including how to better phrase your speech. These new Presenter Coach features will be available to everyone through a free preview, and then eventually only to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
Kickstart your creativity in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Everyone would love to be more creative in their presentations and documents to better communicate their message, but often it takes more time than it’s worth. Now PowerPoint Designer helps you be more creative while saving you time. For example, with a simple click, you can transform text into a beautiful timeline. Or when you add a picture to your slide, Designer will auto-generate several slide layouts to choose from. To supercharge your creativity, we’re providing Microsoft 365 subscribers with exclusive access to over 8,000 beautiful images and 175 looping videos from Getty Images, plus 300 new fonts and 2,800 new icons to create high-impact and visually appealing documents. And you can use all this new content in Word and Excel too.
To kickstart your school, work, or family project and save time, Microsoft 365 subscribers also get exclusive access to 200+ new premium templates across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Find great templates to help you design the perfect resume, wedding invitation, newsletter, birth announcement, and so much more. There are even templates for printing coloring books and reward charts to keep kids engaged at home.
Seamlessly manage your finances with Money in Excel
Managing money is one of the top stressors among people and families. People typically track their spending across a variety of apps and spreadsheets. Today, we announced Money in Excel, a new solution for Microsoft 365 subscribers that makes it easy to manage, track, and analyze your money and spending all in one place—Excel.
A secure and simple process powered by Plaid allows you to connect your bank and credit card accounts to Money in Excel, so you can import transactions and account balances automatically and create a personalized workbook leveraging the rich features of Excel. Money in Excel can help you improve your spending habits by providing personalized insights on your monthly spending and proactive alerts about price changes for recurring payments, bank fees, overdraft warnings, and more. Money in Excel gives you the tools to help you achieve your financial goals. Money in Excel will start to become available in the coming months in the U.S. first.
Explore subjects in detail with new data types and smart templates in Excel
Many people use Excel to track and analyze data to make decisions by creating everything from simple lists to elaborate models. Finding, collecting, organizing, and refreshing this data is challenging and time consuming. Today, we are announcing a different way to interact with your data. With new data types, you’ll be able to make sense of your data as Excel provides deeper meaning for over 100 topics. These include food, movies, places, chemistry, and even Pokémon. Save time by converting plain text and numbers into a data type and Excel will surface both rich visual and interactive data cards and images that provide a better representation of your data.
How does it work? Say you want to start keeping better track of your nutrition. Simply enter a food like “avocado” and by converting it to a Food data type, Excel will help you access its nutritional information. Or maybe your family is considering adopting a dog. You can evaluate different types of breeds using the Animal data type, which provides you with images, facts, and their temperaments, so you can easily create a table to compare them. With data types, all information can be easily updated, so you always have the latest and relevant data. Anyone can access the Stocks and Geography data types in Excel for the web. And Microsoft 365 subscribers have exclusive access to the over 100 new data types powered by Wolfram Alpha. As a Microsoft 365 subscriber, data types will give you the opportunity to:
- Easily gather, organize, and analyze the information you need in one place without the hassle of finding, copying, and refreshing the data.
- Use new smart templates with data types to do more. They will help you prepare to move to a new city, track your nutrition, or help your kids learn chemistry.
The new data types and smart templates will be available to Office Insiders this spring and to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in English in the coming months.
Organize your time across work and life with Outlook
Juggling work meetings with personal appointments can be a struggle, particularly if your work and personal calendars aren’t connected. Today, we announced new features in Outlook on the web that help you manage all your commitments, across your work and life, in one place. With these new features, you can link your personal calendar to your work calendar to show your real availability in your work account, while still maintaining privacy around the details of personal appointments and business meetings.
We also announced the expansion of Play My Emails on Android—where Cortana provides an intelligent read-out of your emails. Play My Emails can help you catch up and act on what’s new in your inbox whether you are mid-commute or getting ready in the morning, so that you can be fully present when you are home. To further enable hands-free activities, you can now use Microsoft Search that recognizes natural language on iOS and Android. Simply find your results faster and easier by using language you use every day to filter and narrow your search—just speak it or type it. The new search functionality and Play My Emails availability on Android will begin rolling out in the coming months.
Deepen your connection to family and friends with Skype and Microsoft Teams
Staying connected with our loved ones has never been more important than it is right now. We’re pleased to offer tools like Skype to help people to stay in touch with family and friends through chat and video calling. Recently, we have seen significant increases in Skype usage. Skype has seen an increase in usage, with 40 million people using it daily, up 70 percent month over month and, we are seeing a 220 percent increase in Skype to Skype calling minutes month over month. To help people get connected even faster, we recently introduced a new feature in Skype called Meet Now. Meet Now lets you easily create video meetings in as little as three clicks for free, no signups or downloads required.
At work, every day more than 44 million people use Microsoft Teams. People love Teams because it’s the only hub for teamwork that lets you chat, do video conferencing, make calls, and collaborate all in one place. And while Teams is great for work, we’re all struggling to manage responsibilities across work and life. We use multiple apps and disconnected tools such as calendars, email, messaging, and documents to manage it all.
To provide one app to help manage work and life and deepen your connection with those who matter most, today we previewed new features coming to 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. Teams gives to you the tools to seamlessly manage daily life; share grocery lists, organize across family calendars, store important information like Wi-Fi passwords and account info, and even see location updates when loved ones arrive home or at other locations like work or school.
These new features are coming in preview to the Microsoft Teams mobile app in the coming months. In the meantime, we invite you to connect with friends and family through chat and video calling using Skype.
Protect your family in the physical and digital worlds with Microsoft Family Safety
Many parents use multiple screen-time apps and location-based services to help ensure their families are safe in the physical and digital worlds. Unveiled today, Microsoft Family Safety is a new mobile experience coming on iOS and Android for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
Microsoft Family Safety empowers families to help protect their loved ones by giving them the tools and insights to start a conversation promoting 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 also giving you peace of mind when your kids aren’t home.
Microsoft Family Safety helps you stay connected with location sharing and notifications when a family member arrives or departs a location like home, school, or work, to help give you the peace of mind that your family is where they need to be. And, for inexperienced drivers in the household, you can use driving reports to help build better habits behind the wheel with the peace of mind knowing that we don’t share your information with third parties, such as insurance companies.
You’ll also be able to help protect your kids as they explore and play games online and on their devices. The Microsoft Family Safety app helps you understand how your kids are spending their time across their Xbox, Windows 10 PCs, and Android phones, plus you can set limits to help promote healthy digital habits. Additionally, you’ll be able to help steer them away from content that you feel is not age appropriate as they start browsing the web.
We are starting with a limited preview of the app across iOS and Android that will be available in the coming months.
Access to popular wellbeing, creativity, and enrichment apps
Wellbeing, creativity, and enrichment play important roles in helping you be your best self. So, in addition to all the new value in the Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions, we announced that subscribers will receive limited-time access to popular apps and premium services such as Adobe, Bark, Blinkist, Creative Live, Experian, Headspace, and TeamSnap. In the U.S. these are valued at over $500 USD. Visit this page to learn more about the partner benefits program for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers.
Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions broadly available on April 21—more value, same price
The new Office features start rolling out to current Office 365 customers today. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions will be available worldwide on April 21st. With Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions you get everything in Office 365, like 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 you from malware and phishing attacks, ongoing technical support, plus all the new features and benefits announced today. Microsoft 365 Personal costs $6.99 USD a month. For the best value, a family of up to six people can use Microsoft 365 Family for $9.99 USD a month.
To learn more about Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions as well as the market and language availability of the new features we announced, visit this page. For more information about the changes announced today that are coming to Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise plans, visit this page here.