Microsoft is looking to gain some ground in an unusual place: the wildly competitive cutthroat realm of AI-powered writing tools.
In this corner, we have Grammarly, the writing tool that acts as your personal editor, available on many different platforms (even within Microsoft apps). In the other corner, we have Microsoft Editor. Microsoft’s version launched in March last year that does pretty much the same thing. Let the match begin.
Currently, Grammarly has Editor on the ropes because it’s available everywhere — as standalone desktop apps for Windows and Mac, a browser extension and a keyboard app on mobile platforms. You could even download it as an add-in for Microsoft Office apps on Windows and Word on Mac, a space Microsoft is only now heading into, as this update to the Microsoft 365 roadmap shows.
Does Microsoft have what it takes to overcome Grammarly?
But don’t count out Editor just yet. It can offer something Grammarly can’t. At the free tiers, both Grammarly and Editor include pretty much the same features. They’ll both check your spelling, grammar and little mistakes like using Americanised spelling. If you want to use the premium features of either, like the plagiarism checker or AI-driven suggestions based on the tone and clarity of your writing, then you’ll need to pay.
Currently, Grammarly Premium is $12 per month billed annually, which works out to around R2,065 for the year. MS Editor comes with Microsoft 365 which, for Microsoft 365 Personal, is R109 per month or R1,308 over a year. Not only does that give you access to MS Editor, but you’ll also get Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and 1TB of OneDrive space for nearly half the price.
But there isn’t really a clear-cut winner here. If you need flexibility (and aren’t planning on spending any money at all) then Grammarly offers more of that (for now), if you really need those premium features then MS Editor offers a better package while being substantially cheaper. Call it a draw?