Microsoft Announces Consumer Version of Microsoft 365

Posted on March 30, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft Consumer Services, Microsoft 365 with 32 Comments

Nearly three years ago, Microsoft introduced an interesting new service called Microsoft 365 for its commercial customers. The new service combined Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security into a single subscription.

Today, it’s launching a new service under the Microsoft 365 brand — but for consumers. Meet Microsoft 365 Personal & Family, Microsoft’s new subscription for consumers. With the new Microsoft 365 Personal & Family subscriptions, Microsoft is replacing the Office 365 branding many people know with the new Microsoft 365 service.

Microsoft 365 for consumers brings the best of Microsoft together into a single package. But it’s not just about things like Office 365, there are some interesting new components.

Microsoft 365 will come with a new Microsoft Editor experience that will offer a new editing experience across apps to help avoid bias and grammatical issues. The new Microsoft Editor will be natively integrated into Outlook and other Microsoft 365 apps, and Microsoft will also release a browser extension for it.

Microsoft 365 will also give users access to a catalog of premium content within PowerPoint Designer, including 150 looping videos that can be freely used in presentations. Microsoft is also improving Presenter Coach in PowerPoint with new features like monotone pitch detection, pitch feedback, etc. Excel is getting a new feature called Money in Excel that connects to financial accounts to help you keep track of your finances, with monthly snapshots and more.

The subscription, of course, includes Office 365 and OneDrive Premium facilities.

The company is also launching a new app called Family Safety that helps parents track the screen time for kids. You can set app limits, reminders when kids run out of time an app, etc. It will also automatically create activity reports each week, and apply web + search filters. There are a number of other family-focused features on this new app, and Microsoft is promising complete privacy for users.

The service will also come with access to Microsoft’s new version of Microsoft Teams that’s aimed at consumers — more on that here. 

Microsoft 365 Personal & Family will be launching on April 21. Microsoft 365 Personal costs $6.99 a month, while you can get Microsoft 365 Family for $9.99 a month — which you can be used within a family of up to six people. If you are an existing Office 365 customer already, you will automatically get upgraded to the new Microsoft 365 service.

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Comments (32)

32 responses to “Microsoft Announces Consumer Version of Microsoft 365”

  1. rlkmartin

    Paul,

    Any word yet on pricing? Is this an upgrade to current Home 365 subscribers or a whole new product line.

    Thanks

    Rick

  2. st3ph3n013

    Wonder if they will offer custom domain hosting again?

  3. davidd

    Am I right in thinking that Microsoft Editor is, essentially, Grammarly?

  4. proftheory

    My Office app is LibreOffice & Thunderbird. Lifetime upgrades - Free.

    • BigM72

      In reply to proftheory:

      I look at it more like paying for OneDrive and getting the rest for free.


      $100/year for up to 6 people to get 1TB storage each, plus Skype minutes plus Office? Works for me :)

      I also would be pretty happy being able to migrate my personal life from WhatsApp to Teams if I could :)

  5. justme

    Funny - follow that link and you get a webpage that says, "Introducing Microsoft 365". There is an immediate link to see plans and pricing, which, if you follow it shows Office 365 home, Office 365 personal, and Office 365 Home & Student pricing. You can click a tab to get various business Office 365 plans. So, as usual, clear as mud. (Yes, I know the branding is changing, but that isnt the point.)


    Me, I just see this as yet another way Microsoft is trying to force us all into one subscription or another. Pass - I positively loathe subscriptions. Does it offer products and services people want? Sure. Does it make business sense for Microsoft to get us all subscribing? Absolutely. Does it make sense for the consumer? That remains to be seen.


    While I am interested to see how this plays out, this isnt for me. I'll stick with my perpetual license as it does what I need, and watch from the rafters.

    • Paul Thurrott

      The names don't change until the end of April, so those sites reflect the current brands now.
      • justme

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Nods...understandable. I was going to answer by saying that I just wish that Microsoft would make this clearer for non-tech-enthusiast types. Before that, however, I rechecked the link, and I am now seeing a banner across the top of the page that details the name change time frame. Dont recall seeing that when I originally posted - may have been there and I just missed it.


        I still dont like subscriptions, though. :)

  6. miketurley

    I hope we will still be able to buy licence keys through Amazon. I monitor the price through Camel Camel Camel and buy when the price is low.

  7. zicoz

    If they want this to grow they should give people with 365 at work access to 365 Personal for free.

  8. per.steinar

    How about some real consumer oriented services, for example a music streaming service, integrated with teams and one drive?

    • wright_is

      In reply to per.steinar:

      Teams and OneDrive are a lot more interesting and useful, to me, than music streaming. Everybody has things that they would find better or worse.

      But Microsoft is a productivity company and not a music streaming company. They have shown time and again that they just don't have the street creds to make a go of music, they are playing to their strengths and they should continue to do so.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Come on. Can someone please send this guy the memo?
  9. darkgrayknight

    You missed an important line: "Today, we are delighted to announce that on April 21st, Office 365 will become Microsoft 365"

    So our Office 365 will become Microsoft 365 subscriptions.


    www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/03/30/introducing-new-microsoft-365-personal-family-subscriptions

  10. dcdevito

    Meh, seems too business focused for me

  11. Aaron44126

    "Microsoft 365 Personal & Family will be launching on April 21. Microsoft 365 Personal costs $6.99 a month, while you can get Microsoft 365 Family for $9.99 a month — which you can be used within a family of up to six people."


    Aren't those the same price points as Office 365 personal and family? Will Office 365 users just get upgraded?


    [Edit] Answered my own question. Yes, they are rolling over current Office 365 (home/personal) users automatically.

  12. Dan1986ist

    Office 365 becoming Microsoft 365 on the customer side makes sense, since it is more than just getting Office apps.

  13. Winner

    They're trying really hard to lock us into monthly subscriptions.

    • hansolo

      In reply to Winner:

      nope, offcie 2019 is still available, and free office online, teams, skype, onedrive, ecc... too

    • youwerewarned

      In reply to Winner:
      As Paul laments elsewhere, these monthlies are a death of a thousand cuts if you don't watch out. But have Cortana (remember her?) announce each of these mini-payments at the beginning of the month and the racket will eventually bring you to your senses.


  14. papachungo13

    Wishing they'd roll Visio into one of their package tiers

  15. Robert Dammers

    As of today (Monday 30th March), if I go to the website, it asks me if I wish to go to the UK site, where there is not yet any information about Microsoft 365 Personal & Family. Do you have any idea about international (and particularly UK) availability yet?


    Thanks!

  16. sherlockholmes

    Can some one correct the register link please? Thanks.

  17. Chris_Kez

    If Microsoft could somehow work with Apple to get more of this stuff better integrated with iOS it would be much more appealing.

  18. accessjunky

    Do you think they will ever roll in Gold and/or Game Pass into this? A family subscription for Gold and Game Pass would, in itself, make a lot of sense, but wouldn't it make sense to have it rolled into one subscription as an optional add-on to Microsoft 365 at a slight discount?