Wednesday, 22 April 2020 13:14

Office 365 is now Microsoft 365

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Microsoft 365 was launched three years ago as a business product combining Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 Business Premium and other software, but it has now completely replaced the Office 365 brand.

The consumer version of Microsoft 365 – available now to new and existing subscribers – augments the traditional Office applications with AI-powered features, new content and templates, and new applications and services.

The AI features include Microsoft Editor (accessible in Word, Outlook.com. Edge and Chrome) for "advanced grammar and style refinements," and a preview version of Presenter Coach to "help correct monotone pitch and refine speeches."

Among the new and additional content and templates are 8,000 images, 175 looping videos, 300 fonts, 2,800 icons, and more than 200 "premium" templates for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Other new features include a designer function for PowerPoint, 100 new data types from Wolfram Alpha in Excel, and the integration of personal and work calendars in the web version of Outlook.

Coming soon to the suite are Microsoft Family Safety (locates other users, provides alerts when they leave or arrive at particular locations, records driving data such as speed and hard braking, monitors and limits device activity, and filters content) and Microsoft Teams (the company's unified communication service).

"We want to continue to empower everyone to remain connected with those who matter inside and outside of the workplace. The Microsoft 365 Family and Personal subscriptions will provide users with innovative experiences that enable them to co-author, video chat, organise, and come together with friends and their families anytime and anywhere," said Microsoft 365 ANZ business lead Nathan Wilson.

Microsoft 365 Personal costs $10 a month, and up to six people can share a $13 Microsoft 365 Family subscription. These prices include the desktop versions of the Office apps, 1TB of OneDrive storage per person, and 60 minutes of Skype calls to mobiles and landlines.

In related news, Microsoft Edge has been updated with new features including a password monitor (checks whether autofillable credentials are among those that have been leaked) and collections (to help assemble information from multiple sites and then transfer it all to Word or Excel), and support for 4K Netflix streaming.

Coming soon are smart copy (to preserve the formatting of material copied from a web page and pasted into other applications), and the integration of private browsing with Bing searches.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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