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Microsoft overhauls Office 365, rebrands it 'Microsoft 365'

31 Mar 2020

Microsoft has today announced a major overhaul of Office 365, which has been renamed Microsoft 365, will begin rolling out today and will reach over 38 million Office 365 subscribers over the coming months.

Microsoft says its ‘refresh’ of Office 365 will feature new artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences.

“Now more than ever, as many of us work and learn remotely, we are acutely aware of all the different ways life can interrupt work and work can interrupt life,” says Microsoft corporate vice president, Windows and devices group Yusuf Mehdi.

“Today, we offer a powerful set of free applications and services that help users create, share, connect, and collaborate with their 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 people to co-author, video chat, organize, and come together. 

“We are committed to improving and innovating on these experiences every day,” says Mehdi.

What’s new in Microsoft 365:

AI-powered Microsoft Editor

With integration with Word and Outlook, this AI service provides access to grammar and style refinements such as rewrite suggestions and additional style critiques to allow greater clarity and conciseness.

Microsoft Editor also comes as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.
 

Microsoft Teams update

Users can now connect and collaborate with family and friends. 

They will be able to connect in group chats, make video calls, collaborate over shared to-do lists, assign tasks to specific people and coordinate schedules, as well as share photos and videos all in one place.
 

Microsoft Edge security boost

The update introduces Password Monitor, which scans the internet to ensure your credentials haven’t been stolen.

Firstly, a new Microsoft Family Safety app designed to keep families safe across the digital and physical worlds. 
 

Presenter Coach Features in PowerPoint

An AI-powered Presenter that helps correct monotone pitch and refine speeches. This will be available as a free preview, and then eventually only to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
 

PowerPoint Designer

This feature effectively boosts creativity, such as transforming text into a beautiful timeline, or even auto-generated slide layouts. 

Microsoft is providing Microsoft 365 subscribers with exclusive access to over 8,000 beautiful images and 175 looping videos from Getty Images, plus 300 new fonts, 2,800 new icons and 200+ new premium templates to create high-impact and visually appealing documents.
 

Excel updated

Connects Excel to the user’s bank and credit card accounts, including major retail banks, to help manage track and analyse finances.
 

Skype updated

Microsoft says Skype has seen an increase in daily usage to 40 million, up 70% month over month. 

Microsoft has also reported a 220% increase in Skype to Skype calling minutes month over month. 

The update to Skype includes a feature called Meet Now, which allows users to easily create video meetings in as little as three clicks for free, with no sign-ups or downloads required.
 

Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions will be available worldwide on April 21.

These include 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 users from malware and phishing attacks and ongoing technical support. 

Microsoft 365 Personal costs USD$6.99 a month. Microsoft 365 Family costs $9.99 a month.