MS Office 2021 with complete offline experience to arrive soon for Windows and macOS, confirms Microsoft

Microsoft Office 2021
MS Office 2021 to arrive for Windows 10 and macOS. Pic credit: Pixaline/Pixabay

The next big iteration of MS Office, the offline alternative to Microsoft 365, is official. Microsoft has not only announced MS Office 2021, but the company has also added that the offline office productivity suite will work on Windows 10 and macOS.

Microsoft has announced the successor to MS Office 2019. Just like the previous Office 2019 release, MS Office 2021 will offer completly offline applications and features. Needless to add, MS Office productivity suites are very popular among users who don’t want to subscribe to the cloud-powered Microsoft 365 variants.

MS Office 2019 and Office LTSC will arrive later this year, confirms Microsoft:

Microsoft has announced the upcoming launch of Office 2021. It will arrive later this year and will work for both Windows and Mac machines. In other words, there’s a simultaneous release of MS Office 2019 for Windows 10 and Apple macOS.

Incidentally, alongside the MS Office 2021 for Windows and macOS, there’s another variant for commercial customers. The Office LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) variant. Despite being rather similar to the consumer variants, there’s some “longer” support duration for Office LTSC.

The new Office LTSC (Long Term Service Channel) asks for a 10 percent price hike in price for a guarantee of longer support periods. Strangely, this duration is longer compared only to the consumer variant.

The “Long Term Service Channel” version will still have a shorter support life cycle compared to previous versions of Office LTSC. Specifically speaking, Office 2019 LTSC had a seven-year support window. The LTSC variant has only a five-year support window.

Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the support life cycle of the consumer version of Office 2021. However, as the LTSC variant has five years’ support, Office 2021 consumer variant will obviously have a shorter support window.

What features and improvements is Microsoft offering in Office 2021, and why should customers upgrade from Office 2019?

If Microsoft had its way, it would never have announced a fully offline variant of MS Office. It would simply keep the Microsoft 365 cloud-based office productivity suite as the sole option.

Microsoft 365 apps primarily reside in the cloud, or technically speaking, the company hosts the core files on a server. Users pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to access these apps.

Many users prefer Microsoft 365. This is because Microsoft offers new features and fixes way earlier to the cloud-based platform. The remotely-hosted service is very convenient, and Microsoft backs the platform with its AI-driven, always-on protection features.

However, there are quite a few loyalists of the offline iteration. For such users, Microsoft is offering MS Office 2021. However, users should not expect a whole lot from the MS Office 2019 successor.

Microsoft hasn’t yet offered a detailed “Changelog” yet. But it seems Microsoft has focused primarily on the cosmetic and aesthetic aspects. Simply put, the new version is prettier.

Microsoft is offering Office 2021 apps a new Dark Mode for those who prefer light text on a dark background. There are few unspecified accessibility improvements as well.

The biggest improvement would be MS Office 2021 Excel spreadsheet. Microsoft is essentially porting the Microsoft 365 variant, and it includes features such as Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP.

Both variants will additionally include OneNote. There will be 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the popular productivity suite. As for price, MS Office 2021 will retain the same $149.99 price point as the older variant.

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