Skip to main content

Microsoft to Release Office 2021 on October 5

Artistic render for Office 2021.
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The age of subscription services may be well upon us, but Microsoft isn't liable to leave any revenue sources on the table. The company today started rolling out its Office LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) for Windows and macOS, which is a version of Office specifically geared for government and commercial clients who don't find value in the company's cloud elements for Office 365, and whose systems might go without any service update for years at a time. Baked into that announcement, however, was also the commercial release of Office 2021 for general consumers. Mark the date: October 5, 2021. That's the same day as the Windows 11 launch. 

Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, said that "While it [Office 2021] offers performance improvements and expanded accessibility, it will not offer the cloud-based capabilities of Microsoft 365 Apps like real-time collaboration and AI-driven automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as security and compliance capabilities that give added confidence in a hybrid world." 

The standalone, perpetual license version of Office 2021 includes a number of performance and feature improvements, including Dark Mode support as well as support for version 1.3 of the OpenDocument format. Four new Excel functions will be made available (XLOOKUP, LET, XMATCH and dynamic arrays); PowerPoint will introduce support for presenter video recording, ink recording, and laser pointer recording; and of course, all Office 2021 apps will see a visual language update to keep them in line with the new Windows 11 interface and design philosophy.

Microsoft will offer five years of "Mainstream Support" for Office 2021, and there are no plans for extended support programs beyond October 2026 - a year after support ends for both Office 2016 and Office 2019, which have enjoyed longer mainstream support commitments from Microsoft.

The company also announced that pricing will remain the same for Office 2021 as compared to previous versions of Office which means $150 for the Office Home & Student version, and $250 for a single Office Home & Business license.

  • salgado18
    I keep thinking: I use Office 2010 until this day. A single license gives you usable software for life. Why get a subscription, if in the end all you probably need is write a document in Word, make a spreadsheet or a slide presentation? Office 2021 is a safe bet for a very long time. Subscriptions to basic software like this (when single software licenses are available) are a waste.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    salgado18 said:
    Subscriptions to basic software like this (when single software licenses are available) are a waste.
    Finances.

    For a company that needs dozens/hundreds/thousands of licenses, a subscription model is not necessarily a bad thing.
    Reply
  • chalabam
    Still useless for drawing charts, no symbolic manipulation, no vb.net macros, slow and prone to hang, can't calculate a cross product
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    The main people these appeal to are home users and students, as the $12.50/month/user cost for Microsoft 365 business users is quite reasonable, and the cost can be put on taxes as a business expense.

    For student users though there's Microsoft's office online versions as well as Google's office app versions which are quite fully featured for the majority of users, and the continually saving cloud editions which can be accessed from any device provide a safety net from thieves and crashes.

    For home users between Microsoft and Google online versions, there's LibreOffice and OpenOffice, among others.

    The real solution to provide meaningful income would be for Microsoft to cut the price of Microsoft 365 Personal to $25/user/year or $100/6 users/year, perhaps even $20/user/year without the 1TB OneDrive storage...

    I use Office 2019 myself, but I'd pay $20 a year if it meant being able to use actual Office apps on my tablets and phone instead of having to use Google on them.
    Reply
  • exploding_psu
    salgado18 said:
    I keep thinking: I use Office 2010 until this day. A single license gives you usable software for life. Why get a subscription, if in the end all you probably need is write a document in Word, make a spreadsheet or a slide presentation? Office 2021 is a safe bet for a very long time. Subscriptions to basic software like this (when single software licenses are available) are a waste.

    Yeah, I still use Office 2010 too, and frankly it's more than enough for all my use cases. I'm thinking of upgrading soon though, I feel it's way overdue at this point.
    Reply