In less than three weeks, on October 5, 2021, Microsoft is launching its next generation of Windows, but that is not the only product the Software giant is about to ship. Alongside Windows 11, Microsoft will launch Office 2021 - the next perpetual version of the Office apps that does not require a Microsoft 365 subscription.
It is worth mentioning that Office 2021 and Office 2021 LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) is now available to commercial and government customers. Regular users will be able to get their hands on Office 2021 on October 5, 2021.
Microsoft planned to ditch perpetual licenses for Office back in times of Office 2019. Later on, the company changed its mind due to high demand from commercial customers. Many businesses require locked-in releases that do not receive new features every month and do not require a recurring subscription. Microsoft says Office 2021 will receive five years of active support. Also, the company will release another perpetual release in future.
If you plan to buy Office 2021 once it is out on October 5, you can look forward to the new features, such as Line Focus for Word, the XLOOKUP function and dynamic array support in Excel, automatic dark mode in all apps, including dark canvas for Word. Office 2021 will also pack other improvements and enhancements, which are currently available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.
One of the main differences between a perpetual Office release and the Microsoft 365 subscription is that the former arrives feature-packed and does not receive new features down the road (it receives just security updates and fixes). Microsoft 365, on the other hand, provides users with a steady flow of new features every month. Also, Microsoft 365 subscribers can use various AI-powered and cloud features, missing in perpetual releases. It is not difficult to understand why Microsoft wants everyone to opt for the Microsoft 365 subscription, but the company realizes that some customers do not want or cannot switch to the service model.
Office 2021 pricing remains unknown, but Microsoft says the suite will be generally available alongside Windows 11 on October 5. The company will reveal more details in the upcoming weeks.
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