Microsoft is officially launching two new versions of Office this year: Office 2021 for personal users and Office LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) for commercial purposes. Office 2021 will be an update to Office 2019 and will be available at a one-time cost without requiring a Microsoft 365 subscription. Microsoft doesn’t have any plans to increase the cost, which means you can expect the pricing to be similar to Office 2019.
As for Office LTSC, a commercial preview will be available this April. While the company hasn’t confirmed any relevant features coming to Office 2021, we know that Office LTSC will be getting support for at least 5 years. The new LTSC version is expected to bring accessibility improvements, a new dark mode, Dynamic Arrays, and XLOOKUP in Excel, as well as other smaller changes across all the popular apps, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. These features are also expected to be adopted by Office 2021. Microsoft has promised to share more details on the new features closer to the launch date, which would be in the second half of 2021.
The announcement of the new version of Office indicates that Microsoft isn’t just focusing on Microsoft 365, its cloud-based offering. That makes sense since many businesses don’t have the resources to move to the cloud completely. Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365, said in an interview with The Verge, “It’s just a matter of trying to meet customers where they are. We certainly have a lot of customers that have moved to the cloud over the last 10 months, that’s happened en masse really. At the same time, we definitely have customers who have specific scenarios where they don’t feel like they can move to the cloud.”
Microsoft recently released its all-in-one Office app for the ipad, giving users access to the company’s suite of productivity software on the tablet. The new app combines all of Microsoft’s popular office apps, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, onto a single application. This is great, especially for students and enterprise customers. It makes it easier to access all the productivity tools, including easily creating PDFs, signing documents, and more.
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