If you have been staying home working amid this COVID-19 pandemic, you might require some basic tools to work on your personal or work system. It’s none other than the most popular suite developed by Microsoft – Office 365. You might be very well aware that it’s not free, as you have to subscribe to the suite. However, if you wish to get it for free there are some interesting ways you can achieve this feat. Now, you might be thinking, why at all invest in the apps when they are also available for free. There are two main reasons: One is that the free version has limited set of functionalities which might be irritating when you are used to the full feature set. Second reason is again equally inconvenient because the free apps only run on your web browser, and when you are offline you will not be able to use them. However, if you are looking for the basic versions of these apps, the free ones are good enough and does work well to meet your requirement.
Microsoft Office 365, a suite of client software, server software, and services consists of productivity software such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, which costs between $70 and $100 per annum for multi-device access and multi-member use.
Now, for long time users of Microsoft apps, this particular news might be exciting as starting April 21, 2020, Microsoft’s Office 365 personal and family subscription suite will be rebranded as Microsoft 365. This is a masterstroke by the company to gain greater market share by winning over more users, who were generally not catered to by the technology giant. This is great move to rebrand the services and company has coined an interesting phrase too “a subscription service for your life”. Cost wise it’s pretty affordable as Microsoft 365 will cost $6.99 per month, and a bumper six-user, $9.99 family plan also too be offered. All the applications of the Microsoft 365 suite will be available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Other than the usual Word and Excel, what might be different here is the addition of new futuristic features and services. In one of its official blogs the company mentioned that there are exciting new offerings such artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences, which might change the way we use to experience, collaborate and share content.
Microsoft Teams will also be rebranded in the same fashion as some of the popular family-and-friends messaging tools, also having an end-to-end encryption. It also will provide an added security feature such as the 2FA for enabling the sharing of sensitive data such as personal information, financial data or any other information that the users feel like keeping secure and private. This is not it, an AI editor in “Word” will most likely offer grammar suggestions, and as per the company, can offer the user gender-neutral alternatives to phrases that are written. Another most promising feature which can make things far easier for users when it comes to scheduling: Yes, Outlook will now feature the ability to link your personal calendar to your work calendar. Amazing thing about this might be that the calendar shows the users real availability in your work account while also providing much necessary privacy around the details of personal and business appointments.