Microsoft 365 uses AI to help deepen people connections in time of novel coronavirus, available from April 21

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Published: March 31, 2020 2:27:36 PM

Microsoft 365 Personal and Family (of six) subscriptions will be available for buying worldwide from April 21 at a price of Rs 4,199 and Rs 5,299 a year.

microsoftOffice 365 is now Microsoft 365. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Office 365 is now Microsoft 365 so it can “better help people make the most of their time, connect and protect the ones they love, as well as develop and grow.” While core Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will continue to be at the heart of the overall experience, Microsoft 365 will see the Redmond giant also highlighting Teams, Stream, Forms, Planner, and Skype, its AI and cloud-based tools that have become all the more relevant now as more and more people stay and work from home in the wake of the global novel coronavirus outbreak.

Microsoft 365 Personal and Family (of six) subscriptions will be available for buying worldwide from April 21 at a price of Rs 4,199 and Rs 5,299 a year respectively. Microsoft says the Office 365 refresh will be fully rolled out and will reach over 38 million ‘existing’ subscribers by April 21 as well.

“Now more than ever, as many of us work and learn remotely, we are acutely aware of all the different ways life can interrupt work and work can interrupt life. It’s never been more important to stay connected and on top of the things that matter,” Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Windows and Devices Group said in a statement.

Microsoft believes that AI can help deepen people’s connections in time of novel coronavirus. Which is why it’s infusing more and more of it inside Microsoft 365. For instance, Microsoft is bringing an editor tool to both Word and Outlook, and also to the Edge and Google Chrome as a standalone browser extension. This editor tool can speak 20 languages and offers automatic suggestions to improve your grammar and style (of writing) so your text offers more clarity. PowerPoint is similarly getting a ‘coach’ to correct monotone pitch and refine speeches. Subscribers will also get ‘exclusive’ access to over 8,000 images and 175 looping videos from Getty Images, 300 new fonts, 2,800 new icons and over 200 new premium templates in Microsoft 365.

Microsoft is also working on two new features that will be available as a free preview initially and then eventually ‘only’ to Microsoft 365 subscribers. The first is a Microsoft Family Safety app that’s said to be designed to keep families safe across the digital and physical worlds by offering them the tools and insights to discuss healthier habits. How, we don’t know yet, although Microsoft says that the app will help manage screen time “across Windows PCs, Android, and Xbox while providing parents a peace of mind when the kids are not home.”

Secondly, Microsoft is working to make Teams something like a ‘one stop shop’ affair for both home and work. The new Teams app will allow users to “connect in group chats, make video calls, collaborate over shared to-do lists, assign tasks to specific people and coordinate schedules, as well as share photos and videos all in one place,” according to Microsoft.

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