Microsoft is releasing its next perpetual edition of Microsoft Office today for commercial clients, with a consumer release scheduled for October 5th. For commercial and government customers, Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and Mac will be available today, delivering a locked-in time release of Office that does not require a subscription.
Office LTSC is for enterprises in regulated industries where procedures and apps can’t be changed on a monthly basis, or for manufacturing plants that rely on Office and want a time-release that can’t be changed. It will not come with the AI- and cloud-powered features available in Microsoft 365, and it will not be updated with new features. Microsoft has committed to supporting Office LTSC for the next five years, as well as another perpetual version of Office in the future.
The perpetual Office 2021 release for consumers will be essentially similar, with a set release date and no feature updates. The following changes to Office LTSC should also apply to Office 2021, according to Microsoft:
- Line Focus – similar to a reading mode to remove distraction and move through Word documents line by line.
- XLOOKUP function – helps find things in a table or range by row in an Excel worksheet.
- Dynamic array support – new functions in Excel that use dynamic arrays.
- Dark mode – all Office apps will include dark mode support.
Microsoft still strongly supports Microsoft 365 for both enterprises and consumers, with more than 300 million paid Office 365 seats. Microsoft just announced its first pricing hike for Microsoft 365 and Office 365, which will take effect in March 2022.
Microsoft hasn’t released any pricing information for Office 2021, although it will be broadly accessible on October 5th, the same day Windows 11 is released. More information on the features and pricing of Office 2021 will be available soon.