Microsoft to launch Office 2021, Office LTSC this year for Windows, macOS

Microsoft has announced Office 2021 and Office 2021 LTSC for small and personal business use. The Long Term Channel version is for small commercial players and its preview will be available in April 2021. Office 2021 LTSC will have dark mode support across multiple platforms and will also bring performance improvements across multiple applications like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

“We are planning to release Office 2021 for personal and small business use later this year. Office 2021 will also be supported for five years with the traditional ‘one-time purchase’ model. We do not plan to change the price for these products at the time of the release. We will announce more details about new features included in Office 2021 closer to general availability,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Office 2021 will be accompanied by Office LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel), which is a new version of Microsoft Office that’s being introduced for commercial customers. 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.

The Office LTSC will be providing 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 successor to Office 2019 will have dark mode support across multiple apps and capabilities. However Skype for Business will not come with the new version of Office, instead, users have to separately download it. Instead, it will bundle Microsoft Teams for group chats and video calls.

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.”

Both Office 2021 and Office 2021 LTSC versions will be available for Windows and Mac users. The features will ship with the OneNote app and have both 32-bit and 64-bit support. With Office LTSC, users have to take a device-based “perpetual” license. The price of Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and the individual apps will be increased by 10% for the general users.

Microsoft replaced Office 365 with Microsoft 365, last year. Office 2021 will come with OneDrive cloud storage and an all-new Outlook apart from all Office apps. One can subscribe to Microsoft 365 personal for Rs 420 per month while Microsoft 365 Family comes for RTs 530 per month.