Microsoft Office 2021 ‘no subscription needed’ versions available for download: Commercial preview released with eventual five-year update commitment

Microsoft Office 2021 LTSC MSOffice
MS Office 2021 is here. Pic credit: Microsoft via Mynetx/Flickr

Microsoft has offered the latest versions of completely offline MS Office for download. Microsoft Office 2021 will not need any subscription to use, and once purchased, will be available perpetually.

The first commercial preview releases for Microsoft Office LTSC for Windows 10, and Office 2021 for Mac are out. These versions will cater to those users who do not wish to subscribe to Microsoft 365, the cloud-based office productivity suite.

MS Office LTSC for Windows and Office 2021 for Mac available for download as commercial preview releases:

The next versions of non-subscription, or perpetually available without a subscription, version of MS Office productivity suite is here. Microsoft has offered the first commercial preview releases to its commercial customers.

The Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) is offering MS Office 2021 for Windows 10. Meanwhile, Apple macOS running MacBook PCs get Office 2021.

Microsoft Office 2019, the predecessor to MS Office 2021, received support for 10 years. The latest offline version of the office productivity suite, however, will receive only five years.

Speaking about the new products, Microsoft said: The next perpetual version of Office for commercial customers is built specifically for organizations running regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for years at a time, process control devices that are not connected to the internet in manufacturing facilities, and specialty systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel.”

MS Office 2021 will continue the ‘One-time purchase model’ as well as the pricing:

Microsoft has offered the non-subscription Office products under the “one-time purchase” model. This means interested customers need to pay a one-time price to purchase the entire office productivity suite and receive updates for five years.

Interestingly, Microsoft has frozen the price of the MS Office suite as well. This means customers will have to pay the same price they paid for previous versions (i.e., MS Office 2019).

The Windows OS maker continues to stress the importance of buying a subscription to Microsoft 365, its cloud-based office productivity suite. However, the company also acknowledges the needs of a small section of its users, claimed Microsoft 365 Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro:

“The cloud is where we invest, where we innovate, where we discover the solutions that help our customers empower everyone in their organization—even as we all adjust to a new world of work.”

“But we also acknowledge that some of our customers need to enable a limited set of locked-in-time scenarios, and these updates reflect our commitment to helping them meet this need.”

Microsoft Office 2021 new features and functions:

MS Office LTSC for Windows 10 and MS Office 2021 for Mac will obviously include features from past Office releases. However, they will also have some new features from Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprises.

Some of the new features in Office 2021 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.

Microsoft is currently offering the following products as part of the preview program:

  • Office LTSC Professional Plus 2021 Preview
  • Project Professional 2021 Preview
  • Visio Professional 2021 Preview

MS Office LTSC Professional Plus 2021 Preview includes MS Access, MS Excel, OneNote, MS Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Skype for Business, Teams, and MS Word. Interested users can get the new releases here.

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