Microsoft releases the first version of Office 2021 for business customers.
Microsoft has released the first version of Office 2021, a “preview” version, for use by business customers, of what will be the next standalone edition of the leading productivity and collaboration software suite, due to arrive later this year for Windows and Mac.
Microsoft will release them under the trade name Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac and will be intended to address those specific situations where a device cannot connect to the Internet, process control devices on production floors that are not connected, or specialized systems that must remain locked down and require a long-term service channel.
In essence, a version of the suite for local installations different from the cloud version Microsoft 365 for its perpetual license, but of course connected as it will include the most recognizable and used applications of the suite as the word processor, Word, the spreadsheet Excel, PowerPoint presentations, the one for the database, Access, and other tools that make up the productivity suite, Outlook, Project, Visio, Publisher or others incorporated in recent times as Teams in this version will replace Skype.
Not too many details of other new features have been provided, except for the dynamic matrices and XLOOKUP in Excel, accessibility improvements, or the dark mode in Word, which we believe will eventually reach all the applications in the suite.
Office 2021 or Microsoft 365?
Office 2021 will be available under a one-time purchase, but that also means they won’t get new features until the next perpetual license version. Also, they get five years of standard support, but after that, it ends, while Microsoft 365 subscribers get ongoing support and new features added as long as the subscription is active.
The cloud version is superior. It offers a greater number of applications; better integration between them; enables storage and better collaboration; offers all the features of the suite, and upgrades in both features and security quickly and conveniently. Microsoft 365 is the star of the Redmond factory.
So why Office 2021? Microsoft must still consider that it is not time for the retirement of standalone versions and wants to meet the needs of businesses and users who prefer to have the software on their machines for on-premises installations and buy a one-time perpetual license without contracting subscription services. And not to leave this field free to other solutions such as LibreOffice. Undoubtedly the best alternative to Office for on-premise installations.
Companies interested in testing the Office 2021 preview version can do so by following these instructions and in these versions:
- Office LTSC Professional Plus 2021 Preview.
- Project Professional 2021 Preview.
- Visio Professional 2021 Preview.
The final versions of Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac will be available by the end of 2021.