Microsoft is going to release Office 2021 later this year

Most of us embrace the cloud and the features therein. But while we don’t mind renting our Office, there are kinds of user searching for a…

Microsoft is going to release Office 2021 later this year
Photo by Matthew Manuel / Unsplash

Most of us embrace the cloud and the features therein. But while we don’t mind renting our Office, there are kinds of user searching for a one-time purchase to go for some years with this version.

We all know this discussion for many years now: The one bunch of customers is going for a subscription, renting their Office-apps besides the advantages of Exchange Online, Teams or OneDrive. The other bunch may like the cloud-services as well but still go with a one-timer Office desktop-suite for five years: If the cap fits, wear it! Now Microsoft has announced a successor to the on-premises Office 2019 expected to be released in the second half of 2021.

Cloud or on-premises?

The choice for a certain kind of distributed software is up to the users and still I know many customers who are just happy to buy their Office and use it for five years: They don’t need the latest features, just a supported software which gets continual security updates. Other users prefer functionality and cloud-focus over on-premises and use many (rarely all) the features a Microsoft 365-subscription has to offer. For the first of the two, Microsoft still sticks to the on-premises as Redmond is indeed planning to release Office 2021, meeting the demands of the „classic“ customers.

Photo Credits: Microsoft

It is told that Office 2021 will be released as a version for small businesses and consumers as well as in a LTSC (Long-Term-Servicing-Channel)-flavor. Like the previous Office 2019, both variants are designed for those that don’t want to go with the subscription-based Microsoft 365-services. The LTSC-release will include the dark mode, dynamic arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel as well as further accessibility improvements. The Skype for Business-app from the package will be ditched and made available as a separate download — if you haven’t followed the migration-path to Microsoft Teams so far. While the licensing model will remain in the LTSC-channel, Microsoft is planning to increase the price by ten percent for the Office Standard and Professional Plus-editions as well as the individual apps.

Office 2021 for consumers and small businesses will also be supported for five years within the traditional „one-time-purchase“-model. In opposite to the business version, Microsoft hasn’t a price increase in mind here and ensures further information on that topic including the new features closer to the general availability (GA) of Office 2021 which will be released for Windows and Mac-systems. Also OneNote is included again and the suite will ship with supporting both Intel-based architectures (32- and 64-bit) whereby the suite also performs incredibly smooth on Apple’s latest M1 Apple Silicon-SoCs.

Photo Credits: Microsoft

A commitment to the on-premises-need

After all, Microsoft — of course — commits to the cloud and the features therein. We don’t need to discuss that the days of on-premises are the dying days and wether you call it „Cloud“ or — like in earlier days — „ASP“ — the computing power and flexibility is settled far beyond our local devices. Anyway, Microsoft also commits to the customer setup which still needs an on-premises-based and distributed Office-version and the specific needs of this user group, continuing to accompany them over the next five years!