In an effort to get more customers to pay Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) on a recurring basis, the software giant is gearing up to roll out subscription plans for consumers.
Yusuf Mehdi, a vice president at Microsoft said in a blog post Monday starting April 21 Office 365, its cloud-based service that has more than 38 million subscribers, will become Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 builds on Office 365 by adding new artificial intelligence capabilities to its apps.
The tech giant also announced that it is launching two new subscription programs for individuals and families that will be available on April 21 worldwide. Microsoft 365 Personal will cost $6.99 a month, while Microsoft Family will go for $9.99 a month. Microsoft has been trying to shift its users to subscription models, enabling them to access the apps in the cloud. That eliminates the need to get people to upgrade their operating system every few years.
As part of the subscriptions and the shift to Microsoft 365, users not only get access to Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint but also Microsoft Editor, which is powered by artificial intelligence and makes suggestions on how to write better, and a presentation coach for PowerPoint presentations. The latter tool allows users to practice in front of a digital camera and get feedback. Excel is getting a new feature to help users track spending, via a partnership with fintech Plaid Technologies. The new subscription packages will also include parental controls to enable parents to track what their kids are doing on Microsoft devices, and access to Teams, its digital collaboration tool.
"With Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions you get everything in Office 365, like premium desktop Office apps, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per person, 60 Skype minutes for calling mobile phones and landlines, advanced security features to protect you from malware and phishing attacks, ongoing technical support, plus all the new features and benefits announced today," the Microsoft executive said in the blog post.