Microsoft has just announced that Personal and Family subscriptions to Microsoft 365 is now available in Malaysia, with the subscription service including the Office suite of apps. Additionally, the subscription also includes added tools to help users “create, connect, and collaborate” across multiple platforms.
Microsoft 365 is a “refresh” of the older Office 365 package, with the company earlier announcing the name change, along with some notable upgrades including a new Microsoft Family Safety app. The timing of the news appears to be a response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, with many around the world now working in remote working conditions.
At least, it certainly looks that way, based on Microsoft Malaysia’s Chief Marketing & Operations Officer Michal Golebiewski’s statement:
“The Microsoft 365 Family and Personal subscriptions will provide users with innovative experiences that enable them to co-author, video chat, organize, and come together with friends and their families anytime and anywhere.”
What do you get with your subscription?
Under the new Microsoft 365, subscribers have access to the new Microsoft Family Safety app. This is basically an app that provides users with the ability to control and monitor family safety via safety controls, content filters, and even location technology to track a family member’s location. Additionally, Microsoft Teams will have added collaborative features for Microsoft 365 subscribers while there is an updated Microsoft Edge browser.
For the Microsoft 365 Personal plan, pricing starts at RM27/month of RM269/year, with the premium suite of Office apps included. Subscribers also have access to 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive, along with 60 Skype minutes for calls made to mobile phones or landlines.
Meanwhile, the Family subscription is priced at RM359/year, or RM36/month. The only difference (as far as I can tell) between Family and Personal plans is that up to 6 people can use a Microsoft 365 Family subscription, with OneDrive storage of 6TB available (1TB per user).
Should you buy Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 builds upon the strengths of Office 365, and the company has integrated artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies to offer certain upgrades. This includes the new AI-Powered Microsoft Editor, which basically helps professionals and students alike with rewrite suggestions, and even feedback to improve “clarity and conciseness” of writing.
For PowerPoint slideshows, there is now an AI-powered Presenter which will supposedly “refine” speeches, and improve upon the usual monotonous tone of most bots. This feature, however, is only available as a free preview for now—do expect it to arrive for Microsoft 365 subscribers in the future.
However, if you aren’t interested in the new features, Office 365 Home—now known as Microsoft 365 Family—is an option that is significantly cheaper if you can find it for sale. You get the same access to Premium Office apps, along with support for up to 6 people—at a lower price point.
In fact, Microsoft says that the new Office features have been pushed to current subscribers of Office 365, which means that you could have much of the same functionality as the new Microsoft 365 plans.
You can also access some of the apps under Microsoft 365 for free. All you need to do is head to Office.com, create an account (or use an existing Microsoft account), and use apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint online. The drawback to this method is that the apps have limited functionality—and you can only use this whilst connected to the internet.
Still, if all you’re looking for is basic Microsoft Word…
To find out more about Microsoft 365, head over here.