Microsoft Office 2021 will be available to consumers on October 5, according to the Redmond corporation. The release date for the next consumer edition of Microsoft Office coincides with that of Windows 11, which is also scheduled for the same date.
Unlike Microsoft 365, which offers a cloud-based work experience, Office 2021 is a one-time purchase that provides Office programs for a single machine for a single, upfront sum. Microsoft has also made the Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and macOS available to the general public.
Microsoft Office LTSC is the enterprise-oriented version of Office 2021 that is offered to volume-licensed commercial and government clients.
Microsoft announced the release date of Office 2021 and the debut of Office LTSC in a on Thursday. Since April, Microsoft Office LTSC has been offered as a testing preview.
In February, Microsoft introduced Office 2021 and Office LTSC as the company’s future perpetual editions of its office suite. The versions are designed to give users standalone access to Office apps for a one-time fee, with five years of maintenance. Significantly, neither Office 2021 nor Office LTSC are meant to receive feature updates that Microsoft 365 users receive.
Dark Mode support, and ‘support for version 1.3 of the OpenDocument’ format are among the performance and feature enhancements in Office 2021’s standalone, perpetual license edition. Four new Excel functions (XLOOKUP, LET, XMATCH, and dynamic arrays) will be available; PowerPoint will support presenter video recording, ink recording, and laser pointer recording; and, of course, all Office 2021 apps will receive a visual language update to align them with the new Windows 11 interface and design philosophy.
There will also be a Microsoft Teams client app with a limited set of features.
Microsoft will provide five years of “Mainstream Support” for Office 2021, and there aren’t plans for extended support programs beyond October 2026 – a year after Microsoft’s mainstream support obligations for Office 2016 and Office 2019 expire.
Office 2021 should include all of the key features of Office LTSC. Microsoft has not yet specified what users will receive in the new perpetual release for end users. At this time, no pricing information for Office 2021 has been released.
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