(Pocket-lint) - The Microsoft 365 subscription service enables you to use all the Office standalone apps, other Microsoft services, and value-added services such as SkyDrive storage and Skype minutes.
Formerly known as Office 365, more than 50 million people and organisations currently subscribe to the service, with somewhere around 300 million active "paid-for seats".
What's changed about Microsoft 365 from Office 365?
The consumer subscriptions are now available in two versions - Personal and Family. The package will now also include a new Family Safety app which will also work with mobile devices. Microsoft Teams is also now included as well as Outlook - both apps have previously been the preserve of the business packages.
The 'For home' apps have various enhancements. For example, there's an add-in for Excel called Money in Excel, which is basically so you can manage banking data and credit cards - it plugs into those services so you can easily import and manage data.
All the apps will work with OneDrive and subscribers will get 1TB of storage to play with. The bundle also includes 60 Skype calling minutes to mobiles and landlines each month.
There's Microsoft Editor, helping you with your writing in Word and on Outlook.com - it's been further enhanced with AI and now includes a plagiarism filter. If you use Grammarly, you'll know how helpful it can be to have your writing regularly checked.
Microsoft 365 for Business comes in three variants, Basic, Business and Standard.
The Microsoft 365 home plans
Microsoft 365 Family
The Microsoft 365 Home plan costs $9.99/£7.99 per month (or $99/£80 per year). The plan enables up to six devices/users, meaning you'll get a copy of the Office desktop apps for six PCs and Macs, the Office experience for up to six tablets/phones and so on. Check out the full list of features below.
- Full, updated Office desktop apps for up to 6 PCs and Macs
- Full Office experience for up to 5 tablets and 5 phones - iOS and Android
- OneDrive online storage up to 1TB each for 6 users
- Skype (calls to mobile phones) - 60 minutes per month for up to 6 users each
Microsoft 365 Personal
The Microsoft 365 Personal plan costs $6.99/£5.99 per month (or $69/£60 per year). The plan only allows up to one user, meaning you'll get a copy of the Office desktop apps for just one PC or Mac, the Office experience for one tablet and one phone, etc. Check out the full list of features below.
- Full, updated Office desktop apps for 1 PC or Mac
- Full Office experience for 1 tablet and 1 phone - iOS and Android
- OneDrive online storage up to 1TB for just 1 users (you can also save stuff offline of course)
- Skype (calls to mobile phones) - 60 minutes per month for just 1 user
What if you don't want a subscription?
If you don't want all the added bonuses and extra services that come with the Office 365 program, such as online storage, you can do a one-time purchase of Office Home and Student 2019.
This means you can use Word, Excel and PowerPoint only and the apps won't be updated with new features (though there are security updates). So there's no Outlook, Access, OneNote or Publisher.
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