Microsoft is launching two new versions of Office, the first one is the consumer version called Office 2021, and the second one is the business version called Office LTSC. Office 2021 will be available later this year for both Windows and macOS, and it’s built for those who don’t want to subscribe to the cloud-based Microsoft 365 versions, similar to the previous Office 2019 release.
The Office LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) version will provide dark mode support, usability enhancements, and features including Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel. Similar features will be included in Office 2021.
There won’t be any major UI improvements here, either. Visually, dark mode is the most visible improvement, but Microsoft will continue to prioritise the Microsoft 365 versions of Office for most of its interface and cloud-based functionality.
Microsoft’s Office LTSC, on the other hand, is a clear admission that not all of its business clients are able to migrate to the cloud. In an interview with The Verge, Jared Spataro, the head of Microsoft 365, says, “It’s just a matter of trying to reach customers where they are.” “We have a lot of customers who have switched to the cloud in the last 10 months, and it’s happened in a big way. Simultaneously, we have customers who have special circumstances who do not think they can migrate to the cloud.”
what is there in Microsoft Office 2021?
Those examples include controlled industries where processes and apps can’t be changed on a monthly basis, as well as manufacturing plants that depend on Office and need a set time release. Microsoft is also committing to a potential perpetual version of Office, but it will change the price and support for these latest versions.
Office LTSC will now only be funded for five years, rather than the usual seven years that Microsoft provides for Office. Commercial customers will see a 10% increase in the price of Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and individual applications, while consumer and small business pricing will remain unchanged in Office 2021.
As a response, Office LTSC support is more closely aligned with that of Windows, and Microsoft is integrating the release dates for both Office and Windows. In the second half of 2021, the next versions of Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will be announced. “They will be closely timed,” says Spataro, “although we don’t have the specifics for the Windows release yet.” “The aim is to get them closer together so that businesses can deploy and handle them on the same schedule.”
Microsoft now plans to release an Office LTSC preview in April, followed by a full release later this year. The consumer Office 2021 edition, on the other hand, will not be available in preview. OneNote will be included in both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the new Office editions.