[Update] Microsoft Office 2021 LTSC with ‘one-time purchase perpetual license’ released: Fully offline edition with ‘commercial volume license’ will get 5 years support

Microsoft Office 2021 LTSC
MS Office 2021 LTSC with five years of support rolling out. Pic credit: Microsoft

The MS Office for Windows and macOS which needs just a single purchase for lifetime usage is here. Microsoft has begun rolling out MS Office 2021 LTSC “offline edition” which does not need any monthly or annual subscription.

Considering the need for simple MS Office installations and deployments wherein there’s no need or the possibility of internet connectivity, Microsoft is offering the MS Office 2021 LTSC.

The next big iteration of MS Office, the offline alternative to Microsoft 365, is here, but not for individual customers:

Microsoft has announced MS Office 2021 earlier this year. The company had also confirmed that the offline office productivity suite will work on Windows 10 and macOS.

Needless to mention, MS Office 2021 LTSC succeeds MS Office 2019 and MS Office 2016. However, just like its predecessors, MS Office 2021 will offer completely offline applications and features.

Microsoft Office productivity suites are very popular among users who don’t want to subscribe to the cloud-powered Microsoft 365 variants. Several users often face multiple challenges when it comes to reliable internet connectivity, and keep demand for such iterations high.

It is important to note that Microsoft hasn’t released Microsoft Office 2021 for single consumers. The company has released Office LTSC 2021.

Although both appear identical to each other, Office 2021 LTSC varies from MS Office 2021. Microsoft has specifically designed Office 2021 LTSC for organizations running regulated devices.

What the company means by regulated devices are computers that seldom receive feature updates. Several of such devices operate without internet connections. Other examples include specialty systems that require a long-term servicing channel.

Features, benefits, and limitations of MS Office 2021 LTSC:

The biggest advantage of MS Office LTSC is that it is available under the “one-time purchase” model. Interestingly, Microsoft hasn’t increased the price of the Office productivity suite.

Enterprises will have to pay the same price they paid for previous versions (i.e., Office 2019). Businesses can deploy Office LTSC using Click-to-Run installation tech, with the following volume licensed Office products available for Windows devices:

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

A slightly different deployment protocol exists for Apple devices running macOS. Enterprises can follow the deployment guide for Office for Mac to deploy Office LTSC Standard for Mac 2021.

Strangely, despite slapping the LTSC label, Microsoft has reduced LTSC lifecycles for Windows 10 and Office from 10 to 5 years. Moreover, there won’t be an Extended Support option for these products after the five years of Mainstream Support ends.

Speaking about the launch, Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 said:

“While it offers performance improvements and expanded accessibility, it will not offer the cloud-based capabilities of Microsoft 365 Apps like real-time collaboration and AI-driven automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as security and compliance capabilities that give added confidence in a hybrid world,”

[Update] Microsoft has also confirmed that MS Office 2021 with a single-time license purchase for consumers will launch on October 5. Needless to mention, this is the same date Microsoft will release the stable version of Windows 11.

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