Microsoft on the 16th of September 2021 said it would release ‘Office 2021’ and Windows 11, on October 5th of the same year, as the next consumer edition of its productivity suite. Office 2021, like its predecessor Office 2019, will be a one-time purchase that will be available on both Windows and macOS and it is for consumers who don’t want to pay for Microsoft 365 through the firm. Microsoft also released the latest versions of Project and Visio today, September 16 2021.
Due to the constantly updated (and continuously paid for) versions of the apps that come with a Microsoft 365 subscription, new versions of Microsoft Office are not as big a deal as they used to be. Office 2021 will include the same features as the current Office Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) edition.
Office LTSC is meant for enterprises in regulated industries where procedures and apps can not be changed monthly, or for manufacturing plants that rely on Office and want a time-release that can’t be changed. It will not come with the Artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-powered features available in Microsoft 365, and it will not be updated with new features. Microsoft has committed to supporting Office LTSC for the next five years, as well as another perpetual version of Office in the future. Dark Mode support, support for version 1.3 of the Open Document format, new Excel functions and formulas, improved slide show recording for PowerPoint, and various user-interface tweaks and enhancements are all included in the new version compared to Office 2019, the last “perpetual” version of Office. The majority of the new features are listed here by Microsoft.
Microsoft intends to provide five years of “Mainstream Support” for Office 2021, with no additional support, and that the software will work with both 32-and 64-bit systems out of the box. Support for Office 2021 will terminate in October 2026, barely a year after support for Office 2016 and Office 2019 for Windows would finish.
The consumer-oriented Office 2021 permanent version will be substantially similar, offering a time-limited edition with no feature updates. The following are new features in Office LTSC that are also applicable to Office 2021, according to Microsoft.
Line Focus works similarly to a reading mode in that it removes distractions and allows you to go line by line through Word documents.
The XLOOKUP function in Excel, which will help you find items in a table or range by row. Support for dynamic arrays, a new Excel function that employs dynamic arrays. Dark mode – Support for dark mode will be included in all Office apps.
In February of 2021, Microsoft announced that consumer and small business pricing for Office 2021 will remain unchanged from what it is now – Office Home & Student 2019 (which contains Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote) costs $150, while Office Home & Business 2019 (which includes Outlook) costs $250. Microsoft raised costs for Microsoft 365 and its other subscription products for the first time in a decade last month.
The company still strongly supports Microsoft 365 for both enterprises and consumers, with more than 300 million paid Office 365 seats and announced its first pricing hike for Microsoft 365 and Office 365, which will take effect in March 2022.
Officials from the Office of LTSC cautioned potential users today that the service is not for people who want to avoid paying for subscriptions or feature updates. It’s designed for “controlled devices” that can’t receive feature upgrades, manufacturing process control devices, and speciality systems that can’t connect to the Internet. According to officials, Office LTSC does not incorporate cloud-based capabilities found in Microsoft 365 versions of the Office programs, such as real-time collaboration, AI-based automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as security and compliance.
The essence of Office’s perpetual stock-keeping unit (SKUs) will remain the same: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and other important software will be included.
The Skype for Business client will not be included with Office LTSC, although it can be downloaded through the Microsoft Download Center for those who want/need it. The Teams app, on the other hand, will be included in the suite.
Microsoft executives announced in February that starting October 1st, 2021, the price of Commercial and Government SKUs (Office Standard and Office Professional Plus) will increase by 10%, and the price of individual apps would increase by 12%. For certain Office SKUs, there will also be a 10% price increase for EDU users.
Microsoft executives indicated last year that the next versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server for on-premises use would be ready in the second half of 2021. The catch: Support, product updates, and security updates would all cost a membership. Only SharePoint Server Subscription Edition is now available only to testers.
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