Microsoft officially announced two new versions of Office yesterday: a consumer Office 2021 version and Office LTSC (Long term servicing channel) for commercial customers. Office 2021 will be available later this year for both Windows and macOS, and similar to the previous Office 2019 release, it’s designed for those who don’t want to subscribe to the cloud-powered Microsoft 365 variants.
Yes, there are still a huge number of people in the world who do not want to join the cloud bandwagon. Microsoft has created a space for those people. The tech giant is not fully detailing all of the features and changes in Office 2021 just yet, but the Office LTSC variant will include things like dark mode support, accessibility improvements, and features like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel. Office 2021 will include similar features.
Dark mode is the obvious change visually, but Microsoft will still focus most of its interface and cloud-powered features on the Microsoft 365 versions of Office first. Office LTSC will now only be supported for five years instead of the seven that Microsoft has typically provided for Office. Pricing for Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and individual apps is also increasing 10 percent for commercial customers, with the Office 2021 consumer and small business pricing remaining the same.
Microsoft is now planning to release a preview of Office LTSC in April, with a full release later this year.