Microsoft will release Office 2021, the next consumer version of its productivity suite, on October 5th. As Microsoft’s new, flat-price version of its Office productivity software arrives on October 5th -2021, the same day Windows 11 begins rolling out, according to the company’s blog post on Thursday.
You do not want to subscribe to Microsoft 365? Don’t worry: Consumers and small-scale businesses will be able to buy Office 2021 as a one-time purchase this fall, the same time Windows 11 launches. This next perpetual version of Office will be available for both commercial and government customers. Here’s what you need to know.
The future of work is foreseen to be built on and powered by the cloud. Microsoft company is focused on innovations that enable their worldwide consumers to work more collaboratively, effectively, and securely.
“As we move into a world where hybrid work is the new norm, the cloud provides unlimited potential for teams to connect and create immersive experiences that build connection and progress. Investing in these types of cloud-based solutions will continue to be our priority,” says the Microsoft Company.
Microsoft previously emphasized that while its main focus remains in its subscription offering, Microsoft 365. Nonetheless, after careful consideration, Microsoft will release the one-time purchase Office 2021 for those who aren’t ready to move to the cloud.
What’s New in Office 2021
The Office 2021 arrives in two versions: one for commercial users, called Office LTSC (which stands for Long Term Servicing Channel), and one for personal use. Office LTSC is generally available today, and it includes enhanced accessibility features, performance improvements across Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and visual improvements, like dark mode support across apps.
In Office 2021, you’ll also find new inking tools, data types, functions, translation and editing tools, motion graphics, ease-of-use features, and so much more!
It’s meant for specialty situations, as opposed to for an entire organization, such as process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the internet. ‘To meet this need, Office LTSC will provide a locked-in-time version of familiar productivity tools.’ Besides that, Office 2021 for personal use will arrive on Oct. 5, though Microsoft has not yet announced pricing information.
Both versions of Office will be available for Windows and MacOS, and will ship with the OneNote app. They will also ship both 32- and 64-bit versions. From the previous announcement we do know that, Microsoft will support the software for five years, and said it does not plan to change the price at the time of release.
Previously, in April 2020, Microsoft transitioned Office 365 into Microsoft 365, a subscription service that added more features to the suite of software tools, but required a monthly payment of $7 for an individual plan or $10 for a family of up to six people (that price will be increasing in March 2022).
The company’s main focus will continue to be on the cloud, but it understands that not everyone is ready to take that step. While you can use Microsoft 365 apps like Word, PowerPoint and Excel online for free with limited functionality, you’ll need either a perpetual version or a subscription to take full advantage of their capabilities.
Some people have been wondering if Office 2019 would be the last perpetual version of the software, since Microsoft 365 came along. But then Microsoft announced its plan for a perpetual release of Office in a September blog post.
Microsoft promised to share more details on Office 2021 soon. Neither will this not be the last perpetual release, they will continue to make investments that make it even easier for customers to adopt Microsoft 365.