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Microsoft announces Office 2021, to be released later this year

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 19, 2021

Microsoft has announced the launch of Office 2021 for Windows and Mac.

The tech giant has announced two new versions of Office, Microsoft Office 2021 for general consumers and the Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for commercial use.

A commercial preview of Microsoft Office LTSC will be available in April. Office 2021 for personal and small businesses will be released later this year, Microsoft said.

Office LTSC is built for a limited set of specific situations that include “regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for years at a time, process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the internet, and specialty systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel.”

It is meant for clients who wish to leverage Office solutions without access to the cloud. Both Office LTSC and the Microsoft 365 version of Office can be deployed with the same deployment tools.

Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will remain governed by the Fixed Lifecycle Policy with support for five years. Both the next perpetual version of Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will be released in the second half of this calendar year, it said.

Without access to the cloud, Office LTSC will not have the same features as Microsoft 365 Apps. Building on past releases, Office LTSC features will include “accessibility improvements, capabilities like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel, dark mode support across multiple apps, and performance improvements across Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint,” as per the tech giant.

It did not provide more details about the Office 2021 release for personal use and small businesses. The next version of Office will be released for both Windows and Mac versions for both commercial and consumer, it said.

Office 2021 will also be supported for five years with the traditional “one-time purchase” model with no plans to change the price for these products at the time of the release.

Microsoft also mentioned that the next version of Office will not ship with the Skype for Business client app. It will instead ship the Microsoft Teams app. Skype for Business client app will be available as a download in the Microsoft Download Center. The version will also ship the OneNote app with the release.

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Published on February 19, 2021
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