Microsoft Office 2021 Set to Be Available on October 5: Microsoft Office 2021 will be generally available to consumers on October 5, the Redmond company has announced. The launch timing for the next consumer version of Microsoft Office notably matches the release schedule of Windows 11 which is also set for the same date. Unlike Microsoft 365 that brings a cloud-based productivity experience, Office 2021 is a one-time purchase designed to offer Office apps for one computer at a single, up-front cost. Microsoft has also announced the general availability of the Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and macOS. Microsoft Office LTSC is essentially an enterprise-focussed version of Office 2021 — available to commercial and government volume-licensed customers.
Through a blog post, Microsoft Thursday announced the release date of Office 2021 and the arrival of Office LTSC. Microsoft Office LTSC has been available as a preview for testing purposes since April.
Microsoft Office 2021 and Office LTSC both were announced as the next perpetual versions of the company’s productivity suite in February. The versions are aimed to provide access to Office apps on a standalone basis through a one-time purchase model, with support for five years. Importantly, both Office 2021 and Office LTSC aren’t designed to receive any feature updates that regularly reach Microsoft 365 users.
Although Microsoft Office 2021 and Office LTSC share most of the features, the latter is meant for specific scenarios where regulated devices are not permitted to receive feature updates and are connected to the Internet.
Some of the features that Office LTSC brings include Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel, dark mode support across multiple apps, and performance improvements across Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. There will also be a Microsoft Teams client app with a limited set of features.
The key features of Office LTSC should also be available in Office 2021. However, Microsoft has not yet detailed what exactly users would get on the new perpetual release for end consumers. Pricing details about Office 2021 are also not announced at this moment.
Alongside Office 2021, Microsoft is releasing Windows 11 on October 5 as its next-generation operating system for PCs. The new Windows version will include a list of interface-level changes as well as enhancements including an integrated Teams experience. It is also announced to provide Android apps support, but that will not be a part of the initial release.