Microsoft’s Office 365 suite, which includes products like Word, OneDrive, and the Microsoft Teams chatting platform, is getting a facelift. The service is now called Microsoft 365, and contains some useful updates that should appeal to families, office workers, and even Grammarly customers.
Microsoft 365: A Quick Overview
Office 365 is an essential tool for work or school. And over the last few years, Microsoft has pushed the 365 suite as an all-in-one solution for non-professional or family use. The service is incredibly inexpensive, yet it contains tools that could easily replace costly services like Dropbox or your current email client.
The new Microsoft 365 rebrand, which costs $7 a month for personal use and $10 a month for family use, is a massive push toward families and household use. For example, Microsoft 365 contains a family version of Microsoft Teams, which provides overviews of your family’s screen-time, calendar, school assignments, and more.
Other updates include a universal version of Microsoft Editor, the Grammarly-like text editing tool, and the ability to link bank accounts to Excel for personal budgeting. But that’s just a quick summary of what’s new. Let’s go into the dirty details.
Microsoft Editor Goes Universal
Microsoft Editor is a text editing suite that, like Grammarly, points out your typos and suggests changes that might make your writing easier to understand. The service used to be exclusive to Microsoft Word, but will now open for use in Microsoft Edge, Outlook, Word Online, and Google Chrome with a Microsoft 365 subscription.
This is a clear attempt to compete with Grammarly, which is available as a desktop app or browser extension. At $7 to $10 a month, Microsoft 365 is infinitely cheaper than Grammarly, which costs $30 a month. We haven’t had a chance to compare the services, but we’re excited to see what Microsoft has to offer.
Excel Tracks Your Bank Account for Personal Budgeting
Microsoft 365 introduces a new Excel feature called Money, which connects to your bank accounts and helps you manage your personal finances. This means that you can import your purchases directly to a spreadsheet and quickly view graphs that pertain to your budget.
If you’re already accustomed to using Excel as a personal finance tool, then this update is a total game-changer. And if you’re currently using Quickbooks or one of many budgeting apps, then the Excel Money tool might stand as a cheaper alternative, considering all the extra perks that come with a Microsoft 365 subscription.
PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach Teaches You to Present
Microsoft is going full Star Trek mode with this one. With Microsoft 365 comes an upgraded PowerPoint Presenter Coach, which listens to you practice your presentations and provides feedback in real-time.
In the past, PowerPoint Presenter Coach would simply tell you if you were talking too fast or too slow. Now, the Coach can listen to your tone of voice and detect if you’re speaking in monotone. It can also listen to your sentences and suggest grammar or punctuation changes that may sound more natural. These tools can’t replace a real coach, but they might help students or employees nail their next PowerPoint presentation.
Microsoft Teams Helps Families Stay Together
Microsoft Teams is an enterprise-grade chat tool that helps workplaces stay in touch and organize their work. But now, Microsoft Teams may function as an all-in-one hub for families.
Later this year, Microsoft 365 subscribers will have the option to use Microsoft Teams for their families. The new Microsoft Teams will include a family dashboard (similar to the Google Families or Apple Family dashboard), which gives you an overview of your family and their screen-time, school assignments, Google Calendar, and current location.
You can even view your child’s web activity through the new Microsoft Teams app, or remotely lock their devices on the fly. Some of these features already existed on iOS devices through the Microsoft Family Safety tools, but Microsoft is fully integrating them with Teams and opening them to all Android and iOS devices by the end of the year.
Microsoft To Do Gets a Minor Update
It’s also worth mentioning that Microsoft is updating the Microsoft To Do tool on Windows 10 PCs. The productivity manager now allows you to add new tasks to the top of your list and remove due dates from tasks. Additionally, the app will now separate novel and recurring tasks to keep you from losing track of your goals.
These are minor changes to the To Do app, and they aren’t related to Microsoft 365 (anyone can use To Do for free). Microsoft hasn’t announced when these changes will apply to the iOS and Android versions of To Do.
Microsoft 365 launches on April 21st, and includes the same services as Office 365. The personal version costs $7 a month, while the family version costs $10 and covers a total of 6 users.