Microsoft has recently announced two new versions of Office, a consumer Office 2021 version and Office LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) for commercial customers. This is a piece of good news for both Windows and macOS users. Microsoft Office 2021 will be available later this year, whereas Office LTSC will be released in April. It is similar to the previous Office 2019 release and has been designed for those who don’t want to subscribe to Microsoft 365.
Microsoft has not yet disclosed all the features and changes in Office 2021, but what we do know is that the Office LTSC variant will include some amazing features like dark mode support, accessibility improvements, and Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel.
Microsoft realizes that although many of its customers have moved to the cloud, there is still a chunk of its business customers who have not moved to the cloud. Office LTSC has been developed to cater to those businesses that need a long-term, static option for the software. It is for those businesses that cannot update their software frequently or even at all, whether out of practical necessity or regulatory compliance. Microsoft Office 2021, on the other hand, has been designed for personal and small businesses who do not want to subscribe to the cloud service, Microsoft 365.
Microsoft has made it clear that Office 2021 will be supported for five years. Also, the pricing for the one-time purchase will remain the same for personal and small business users. However, the price of Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and individual Office app purchases will increase by 10%.
Microsoft plans on releasing a preview of Office LTSC probably in April, though the full release will happen sometime later this year. The release date of Microsoft Office 2021 has not yet been disclosed.