Microsoft 365 for Consumers Celebrates Its First Year

Posted on April 7, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 1 Comment

Just over one year ago, Microsoft announced the consumer versions of Microsoft 365. Today, the firm discussed several features it’s recently added to the subscriptions.

Some of this is old, some of it is updated, and some of it is new. Here’s the list:

Office for iPad. In February, Microsoft brought its all-in-one Office app to iPad, providing users with “a simple, integrated experience that combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single app.”

Send email and schedule appointments with your voice in Outlook for iPhone. Outlook Mobile has had integrated Cortana features for over three years, and Microsoft recently augmented that with what it calls “conversational AI” functionality related to sending emails and scheduling appointments with your voice. This is available now in Outlook for iPhone for anyone with a free Microsoft account.

Transcribe handwritten notes with Microsoft Lens. Microsoft renamed Office Lens to Microsoft Lens back in February, and today it revealed that it will be adding the ability to transcribe handwritten notes into English text. This capability is coming to the standalone Microsoft Lens app as well as the Office app, Microsoft Teams, and Outlook.

Microsoft To Do widgets for iPhone. Microsoft was a bit slow out of the gate publishing widgets that work in iOS 14+, but it’s been making up for lost time and has released several since last fall. The latest is a set of Microsoft To Do widgets—Your Tasks, My Day, and Add Task. They are now available to anyone with a free Microsoft account.

Live Photos support in OneDrive. I think this one is new: OneDrive now supports Live Photos created on an iPhone, allowing you to “play back the full motion and sound of your Live Photos.” This feature is now available in OneDrive for iPhone to anyone with a free Microsoft account.

Money in Excel. This feature was announced one year ago and was released last June, but it now supports cash flow insights to help you monitor your monthly expenses and the ability to manually input transactions and account balances directly into Money in Excel. Money in Excel is available now to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in the U.S. in Excel for Windows, macOS, and web.

PowerPoint Presenter Coach. Announced way back in September 2019, PowerPoint Presenter Coach is now available in English on the web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android to anyone with a Microsoft account. But those with Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers get additional features, including advanced recommendations in the PowerPoint desktop application on Windows and macOS, plus three new feedback features on the web: Body language, repetitive language, and pronunciation.

Microsoft Editor. Microsoft’s erstwhile Grammarly competitor shipped as a browser extension a bit over a year ago and now offers plagiarism checks, text predictions, better context for corrections and refinements, and writing assistance in LinkedIn, WordPress, Gmail, and Google Docs.

Wolfram-powered insights on Excel data. Microsoft 365 subscribers will soon have access to over 100 data types powered by Wolfram. “Instead of using multiple apps or sites to copy and paste external data into tables, you can import and refresh data directly into Excel,” Microsoft notes. “And whether you’re working toward nutrition goals, deciding on a college, or choosing a baby name, there are smart templates for these scenarios and more available to download, making it even easier to get started with data types.” This feature is coming soon in English for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers in Excel in Windows, macOS, and web.

Designer in Word. Rolling out now in limited preview on the web, this new intelligent assistance tool can help you “create documents with a polished, professional, and consistent look and feel with no design skills required,” Microsoft says. The feature will be available to anyone with a Microsoft account and as a benefit to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers, in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian (Bokmal).

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Comments (1)

One response to “Microsoft 365 for Consumers Celebrates Its First Year”

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    sherlockholmes

    Celebrating what exactly? Releasing a product with no new content just with a new name?

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