Microsoft is expected to make big changes to its Office software on Monday. The tech mega power announced that it will change the name of the Office suite, and add major chat features for everyday customers, according to Yahoo Finance.
These changes are influenced by the coronavirus outbreak, as apps become more important than ever with millions of users working from home, and staying away from family and friends.
Starting on 21 April, Office 365 will become Microsoft 365 – this renaming illustrates Microsoft’s desire to shed the starchy image of the Office branding and place the suite as a people-first platform.
Along with the change of name, Microsoft is planning to include the Microsoft Teams software within 365 for the average consumer. Until now, Teams has been primarily designed as a communication app for large and small organizations, similar to Slack, a work integration tool.
Pricing will remain the same at $6.99 pm for a single subscription, and $9.99 for a family subscription of up to 6 users.
Teams in Microsoft 365
Microsoft Teams has seen significant growth over the last year, from 20-million business users in November to 44-million in April. About 12-million users included in the bump have joined the service between 11 March to 18 March. This number will only grow as more people around the world are forced to work from home due to coronavirus lockdowns.
Liat Ben-Zur, Microsoft CVP of consumer and Edge and Bing marketing, told Yahoo Finance that the company’s decision to make Teams more broadly available came after consumers said they wanted a single app to be able to chat with family and friends, make plans, access their calendars, and share files rather than dealing with multiple disparate apps.
Ben-Zur gave the example of a family planning a reunion using the app, getting notifications when guests left the airport, putting together to-do lists, and sharing flight information and photos with the entire planning group.
With Microsoft making moves to contend with rivals like Google and Slack, improvements to the Team app are welcomed.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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