A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft announced Office 2021, the next version of the standalone Office apps suite that does not require users to pay monthly or yearly for a recurring subscription. Office 2021 will come out on October 5, 2021, alongside the public release of Windows 11. Today, Microsoft revealed pricing and new features in Office 2021.
Office 2021 will be available in two flavors:
- Office Home and Student 2021 at $149.99. Office Home and Student 2021 gives users access to the following apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams for Windows and macOS. Microsoft aims this SKU at users who need Office apps for education and home use.
- Office Home and Business 2021 at $249.99. This SKU entitles buyers to use Office for commercial purposes. Office Home and Business 2021 includes all apps from the cheaper tier, plus Outlook for Windows and macOS.
As for new features, Office 2021 offers capabilities, which are already available to Microsoft 365 subscribers. It will come out with a modern Windows 11-like design, improved collaboration features, Microsoft Teams integration, better inking, built-in translator, etc. Excel is getting a bunch of new functions, such as XLOOKUP, LET, and XMATCH. Office 2021 also updates OpenDocument format (ODF) to version 1.3. Finally, there are regular performance improvements, bug fixes, and minor refinements. You can find the list of all new features in Office 2021 here.
If you plan to buy a perpetual Office license, you need to know a few things.
First, to run Office 2021, Microsoft requires a relatively modern PC with Windows 10 or Windows 11. There is no Windows 7 or Windows 8 support. As for macOS, Office 2021 works on the following releases: Big Sur, Catalina, and Mojave.
Second, standalone Office apps do not get new features during their lifecycle. Microsoft reserves that privilege to users willing to pay for the Microsoft 365 subscription. Finally, the Software giant notes that Windows 11 will not support Office 2013, which means it is time for users to consider upgrading their apps or moving to Microsoft 365.
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