The new perpetual version of Microsoft Office is launching together with Windows 11 on October 11th while the LTSC-edition has already hit the market.
This February, Microsoft already told that the successor of Office 2019 is going to be released „later this year“. As the summer is now facing its last days and autumn is already knocking on the door, what better chance would be to release Office 2021 alongside with Windows 11? This is exactly what is going to happen!
LTSC already available
As Microsoft has recently announced, Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and Mac will already be available for commercial and government users from September 16th, providing a locked-in time release of Office that doesn’t require a subscription. While many user tend to use the Microsoft 365-subscriptions and always stay with the latest up-to-date Office-release channel, other dislike this model and prefer to go for a „one-timer“ instead of working with AI- and Cloud-powered or new features that are part of the subscription-based model.
Having a look on the consumer-based Office 2021, this perpetual release will be very similar, offering a locked-in time release without feature updates — for example, the „feature freeze“ of Office 2019 was made in January 2018 so don’t expect the latest features in the 2021-release either! Microsoft lists the following additions to Office LTSC which should also apply to Office 2021:
- „Line Focus“ — similar to a reading mode to remove distraction and move through Word documents line by line
- XLOOKUP-function — helps find things in a table or range by row in an Excel worksheet
- Dynamic array support — new functions in Excel that use dynamic arrays (you might have guessed it!)
- Dark mode — all Office apps will include dark mode support (who doesn’t have this yet by the way?)
M365 or on-premises?
Of course Microsoft still, naturally, recommends Microsoft 365 for both businesses and consumer where the company has more than 300 million paid seats for Office 365 on the commercial side. Redmond recently announced its first price increase in ten years for both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 which goes into effect in March 2022. Commenting on this one, I personally think that — covering all features of Microsoft 365 — the first increase in ten years is okay but the one or other may ask if Microsoft now tightens the reins as that many users have adopted the subscription-based model.
Microsoft hasn’t yet announced a detailed pricing for Office 2021 but Redmond says it will be generally available on October 5th, the same day Windows 11 launches — coincidence or not? More details on Office 2021 features and pricing will follow soon but it may be assumed that the classical „Home and Business“ plans will be in the same range than the 2019 predecessor!
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