Microsoft wants to change up its current subscription model to move away from Office and instead focus on a wider set of products which the company develops. Microsoft has unveiled its new Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions today (with more details provided by The Verge), which are designed to replace the existing 365 Personal and Home subscriptions. The new subscriptions will be available from April 21 with prices similar to that of the current Office subscription model, $6.99 per month for Personal (one person) and $9.99 a month for a family account (up to six people).
So, what does Microsoft plan to offer with this new subscription service? Well, you will still get Office in the mix so existing Office 365 subscribers can be satisfied However Microsoft will also begin adding a host of new services and apps that will fall under this subscription umbrella.
Firstly there will be a Family Safety App designed to allow families to share their location and manage screen time across multiple devices (Similar to Apple’s Find My app) with the app also enabling location sharing and allowing for notifications when family members leave home, work or school to ensure everyone knows where they are. A feature that bound to be a boon for teenagers everywhere. The app can also be used to manage screen time on different devices including the household Xbox.
The other big app forming part of the new subscription model will be a move away from Skype with a bigger focus on Teams. For now, Teams has generally been reserved for the workplace but Micorosft is planning to bring a version of the app out for home use which allows families and friends to connect with each other, share notes, pictures, to-do lists and chat with each other.
Microsoft is not leaving their Office suite untouched though, as new features coming their way will include a new editing feature in Word which will better monitor your grammar and corrections much the same way Grammarly does currently with a plug-in for web browsers also coming. PowerPoint will also be getting updates to its Presentation Coach offering for better slide designs and speaking monitoring and tips to practice those boardroom presentations from home to ensure you don’t put anyone to sleep there. It might put your family to sleep through if you practice it too much at home.
Meanwhile, Excel will be getting some new template features to make it easier to build dashboards, with a special focus towards personal finance to make managing those budgets even easier and reminding you once again just how little money you have. Microsoft has also spoken about how they are planning to integrate with banks to allow people to easily get bank statements and card data imported directly into Excel though the company will focus only on Us banks for now.
Outlook is also getting some love with better integration and sharing between Office and Personal calendars, along with a new Password Monitor for its Edge browser which will detect when a password that you use has been compromised in any way. Edge will also add vertical tabs to make navigation that much easier and makes Chrome look old, giving you more reason to use it instead. even if you aren’t a Microsoft365 subscriber.
All this along with over 300 new fonts and 2,800 new icons that will be available for use throughout the entire Microsoft suite. The company is working with other companies (like Adobe) as well to perhaps bring more software on board the service, though there is nothing official on any of this just yet.
There is no doubt that Microsoft is certainly upping its games and wanting to pump more features than ever at its loyal subscribers. This appears to definitely be the direction the company is moving in and I think it’s only a matter of time before we even start seeing some form of game streaming subscription model being thrown in as well.
If you are an existing Office365 subscriber, then you will automatically be moved across to the new subscription model and start getting access to the new features as they’re released.
Last Updated: March 31, 2020