Microsoft 365 subscription offers AI assistance in Word, PowerPoint

Posted:
in Mac Software edited March 2020
Microsoft is offering an enhanced form of its Office 365 subscription for consumers, with the new Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions adding a number of extra cloud-based features to the online productivity suite to assist with working, security, and communications.

Microsoft Word editor view, in the new Microsoft 365
Microsoft Word editor view, in the new Microsoft 365


From April 21, consumer customers of Office 365 will be moved to a rebranded version titled Microsoft 365. The service has already been available for enterprise customers since 2017, with today's announcement indicating a shift to bring consumer customers under the same range of services.

Microsoft 365 provides access to a collection of extra tools on top of what is currently offered as part of Office 365. The new elements largely aim to provide AI-based assistance to customers, as well as other extra features.

For writers, Microsoft Editor will tell users how to improve their text by changing grammar and proposing structural changes to sentences. The tool will be available all who have access to a free Microsoft account, accessible via the Office browser extension for Microsoft Edge and soon for Google Chrome, as well as Microsoft's tool suite, though subscribers of Microsoft 365 will benefit from further advanced features.

A similar tool will be provided for presenters, with the PowerPoint Presenter Coach advising users on how to speak clearly. Subscribers will be able to use features that suggest how phrases can be made to be more engaging, along with avoiding sounding monotone in pitch.

Within Excel, Microsoft 365 subscribers will be able to use Money, a function that can import information from bank and credit card accounts into the spreadsheet tool. Money will be able to put spending into categories, which may help users better manage their personal finances.

Extra content will also be provided to subscribers within Office, including 300 new PowerPoint templates, 8,000 images, 300 fonts, 2,800 icons, and a selection of looping videos.

A version of Microsoft Teams made for use by families will be included later in 2020. Featuring a family dashboard, the tool will allow families to communicate with each other and organize tasks.

Family Safety tools will let parents have greater control over their children's online safety, including access to how apps are used, their location history, and websites they visit, among other items. It is also possible to lock down devices and apps if required.

Microsoft 365 Personal costs $6.99 per month, while Microsoft 365 Family is $9.99 for up to six people. Current subscribers of Office 365 Personal and Home will be migrated to Microsoft 365 versions from April 21.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    Jonny KJonny K Posts: 7unconfirmed, member
    I presume these are not Mac of iOS offers?
  • Reply 2 of 12
    Welcome to Clippy 2020

    Do we really need all this ****? Or, is this just MS adding stuff for the sake of it as they have run out of realy useful stuff? By useful, I mean features that more than 80% of the users will use and benefit from.
    My guess is that they have run out of useful stuff and is more like 'fiddling while Rome burns'.

    Sorry, I'll pass.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    uraharaurahara Posts: 587member
    Welcome to Clippy 2020

    Do we really need all this ****? Or, is this just MS adding stuff for the sake of it as they have run out of realy useful stuff? By useful, I mean features that more than 80% of the users will use and benefit from.
    My guess is that they have run out of useful stuff and is more like 'fiddling while Rome burns'.

    Sorry, I'll pass.

    Why would you pass? Don’t you need Office?

    If you need it, why not take those incremental updates and improvements, while continuing using office as you would (even without those features)?

    If you don’t need it, of course you won’t need any of it features. Then my guess is that you have run out of good ideas to post here. 
    iSalmanPak
  • Reply 4 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,935member
    I have no problem with Microsoft trying to bring some of its enterprise/corporate oriented features to home users. They already have a stranglehold on the office productivity market for corporate users so it's only natural that they'd be looking for opportunities to grow in other areas. From my personal experience I think it's going to be a tougher sell than what Microsoft believes it will be, not because Microsoft's tools are lacking in any way, but because so many regular users (non geeks) are a lot more entrenched in the tools they are already using, even when some of these tools are incredibly lacking or downright stupid, at least from a logical geek perspective.

    For example, I tried to use Slack as a way to organize and communicate with a group of friends involved in a club with around 100 members. Everyone fully understood the need for something better than what we had been using, like email, messaging, and a community bulletin board to post shared content. From my perspective, and based on the actual needs, Slack was perfect, had near zero admin, was totally free, and private to the group. However, simply getting members to install an app on their devices or getting them to access the Slack group via the web was a huge impediment for many. Slack, while very simple to use for a lot of us, was seen as too intimidating by many. Those who felt intimidated fell back to the old methods like email, huge text lists, and Facebook.

    Here's an example of the disconnect between corporate and casual users: Those of us who are serious about personal privacy, security, and integrity avoid Facebook like the plague. As it turns out we are in a tiny minority. In fact, the fact that I state this shows a bias that opens a huge gap between what I feel is a great collaboration tool, like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and what the Facebook Faithful feel is a great collaboration tool. This creates friction. Getting a large group of tentative/timid users to overcome friction, no matter how small, is terribly difficult. We used to aim for "low friction" user experiences in the bad old days of Windows user experience nastiness. But the reality today is more like "no friction." If a user has to learn anything new to use your tool, your tool may never even reach the starting gate. 

    Same experience trying to get the family to use Trello for family tasks. Total disaster. Zero adoption rate. Big shock - not! Families don't live in a Kanban driven world.

    Microsoft and many others, including many of us, are still stuck in a "push" model world. Build it and market the crap out of it. The problem is that a lot of consumers have long ago transitioned to the "pull" model. If you build it, and if it is what they are already looking for, they will come. But building what you think is a Field of Dreams and trying to sell it to a bunch of prospective customers who don't give a rat's ass about baseball is going to be a failure for you, regardless of how well groomed your baseball diamond in a cornfield may be. 
    roundaboutnowrazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    urahara said:
    Why would you pass? Don’t you need Office?

    If you need it, why not take those incremental updates and improvements, while continuing using office as you would (even without those features)?

    If you don’t need it, of course you won’t need any of it features. Then my guess is that you have run out of good ideas to post here. 
    I really only need Word and Excel. Do you use each and every feature in Office? If not why not?
    TBH, most people only need a small subset of the functionality. What was in Office 2003 would do me just fine. MS has clearly forgotten the KISS principal.
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    I’m sure this will be just as dysfunctional under Apple OS as it is under Windows.  

    The ONLY thing that ever made me miss micro$oft office was when my cheap-o employer switched us all to office365.  

    Doesn’t work in Chrome.  Sometimes works in Edge.  Has rendering errors in internet explorer.  

    We didn’t need coronavirus. We already had the office365 virus.  
    edited March 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Pages, Numbers, Keynote. Done.
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    NotMuch-You?NotMuch-You? Posts: 18unconfirmed, member
    Doesn’t work in Chrome.  Sometimes works in Edge.  Has rendering errors in internet explorer.  

    We didn’t need coronavirus. We already had the office365 virus.  

    I have 58,000 users on Office 365 E3 (Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint, etc.).  Chrome works great (Mac and Windows), as long as you trust the right cookies from certain Microsoft sources.  Even Teams with audio, video, and desktop sharing works great with Chrome (and Chromium-based Edge).  Off the top of my head (edit: and a little serching), some of them are:
    [*.]microsoft.com
    [*.]microsoftonline.com
    [*.]skype.com
    [*.]online.lync.com
    [*.]sharepoint.com
    [*.]outlook.com
    [*.]office365.com
    [*.]office.com
    [*.]lync.com
    [*.]microsoftstream.com
    [*.]sway.com
    [*.]powerapps.com
    [*.]yammer.com


    edited March 2020 dewme
  • Reply 9 of 12
    M68000M68000 Posts: 377member
    Welcome to Clippy 2020

    Do we really need all this ****? Or, is this just MS adding stuff for the sake of it as they have run out of realy useful stuff? By useful, I mean features that more than 80% of the users will use and benefit from.
    My guess is that they have run out of useful stuff and is more like 'fiddling while Rome burns'.

    Sorry, I'll pass.

    My opinion is that Microsoft wants to do everything it can to make people think they should be on a subscription based version of their software, that's what this is about.  they will offer a dumbed down version you may be able to buy on a DVD\Blu-ray\download - but they will market the subscription version as much as they can and do everything they can to get "Joe customer" to pay up every month.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,428member
    urahara said:
    Why would you pass? Don’t you need Office?

    If you need it, why not take those incremental updates and improvements, while continuing using office as you would (even without those features)?

    If you don’t need it, of course you won’t need any of it features. Then my guess is that you have run out of good ideas to post here. 
    I really only need Word and Excel. Do you use each and every feature in Office? If not why not?
    TBH, most people only need a small subset of the functionality. What was in Office 2003 would do me just fine. MS has clearly forgotten the KISS principal.
    This. 
    Microsoft hasn’t added any significant amount of useful features to Office in the last 10 years. We have a business office 365 account and it’s cumbersome, counterintuitive and clunky for many things. Many of my coworkers actually prefer to use google docs. 

    The only reason Office is still around is because Microsoft has a monopoly. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12

    I agree with @Rotateleftbyte. It just looks like Microsoft is trying to add features just for the sake of adding them. If they think they are skating to where the puck is, I think they miscalculated.

    These AI additions sound just like those features on phones that had eyeball tracking, smile recognition, etc. Just a bunch of features added to increase the feature list.

    Even with their new stuff, it looks like Microsoft is going down the Google path. They went from Lync to Skype and now are encouraging everyone to move to Teams. Teams is severely hampered when trying to work across organisations.

    Office-core is always useful, especially Excel. The rest is all bloat.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    seanjseanj Posts: 264member
    Have MicroSoft suggest grammatical changes to my sentences...  :D

    First they screw up corporate IT, now they want to wreck the English language  :'(
    watto_cobra
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