Microsoft is saying two new variations of Office at present: a client Office 2021 model and Office LTSC for business clients. Office 2021 will probably be obtainable later this yr for each Windows and macOS, and just like the earlier Office 2019 launch, it’s designed for individuals who don’t wish to subscribe to the cloud-powered Microsoft 365 variants.
Microsoft isn’t totally detailing the entire options and adjustments in Office 2021 simply but, however the Office LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) variant will embrace issues like darkish mode help, accessibility enhancements, and options like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel. Office 2021 will embrace related options.
Don’t count on any main UI adjustments right here, both. Dark mode is the apparent change visually, however Microsoft will nonetheless focus most of its interface and cloud-powered options on the Microsoft 365 variations of Office first.
Office LTSC is a transparent recognition from Microsoft that not all of its enterprise clients are prepared to maneuver to the cloud, although. “It’s only a matter of attempting to fulfill clients the place they’re,” explains Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365, in an interview with The Verge. “We definitely have quite a lot of clients which have moved to the cloud during the last 10 months, that’s occurred en masse actually. At the identical time, we positively have clients who’ve particular situations the place they don’t really feel like they will transfer to the cloud.”

The new darkish mode in Word.Image: Microsoft

This subsequent Office launch is for individuals who don’t need Microsoft 365
Those particular situations embrace regulated industries the place processes and apps can’t change on a month-to-month foundation, or manufacturing vegetation that depend on Office and need a locked-in time launch. Microsoft can be committing to a different perpetual model of Office for the long run, nevertheless it’s altering up pricing and the way these new variations will probably be supported.
Office LTSC will now solely be supported for 5 years as an alternative of the seven that Microsoft has sometimes supplied for Office. Pricing for Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and particular person apps can be rising 10 % for business clients, with the Office 2021 client and small enterprise pricing remaining the identical.
The Office LTSC help timing aligns extra carefully with how Windows is supported, and Microsoft can be aligning its launch schedules for each Office and Windows extra carefully because of this. Both of the following variations of Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will probably be launched within the second half of 2021. “They will probably be carefully timed, though we don’t have the main points but for the Windows launch,” says Spataro. “The concept is to carry them shut collectively in order that enterprises can deploy and handle them on an analogous kind of cadence.”
Microsoft is now planning to launch a preview of Office LTSC in April, with a full launch later this yr. The client Office 2021 variant gained’t be obtainable in preview, although. Both of the brand new Office variants can even ship with OneNote and embrace 32-bit and 64-bit variations.