Microsoft Announces Office 2021 For Windows & Mac OS
Two new versions of Office were announced last week, a consumer 2021 version and Office LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) for commercial customers. This next Office is for those that are not ready to make the move to Microsoft 365. Both will be available later this year for Windows and macOS. Similar to Office 2019, this release is designed for companies and individuals unable or unwilling to move to subscription based cloud-powered Microsoft 365.
We do not know all of the details and feature changes yet, but we do know a few items are coming that people have been waiting for. Dark mode will now be supported, along with multiple accessibility improvements and features such as dynamic arrays and a new lookup feature in Excel.
Specific businesses and situations in regulated and manufacturing industries where processes or applications cannot change on a monthly basis with 365 will be interested in the Office LTSC which will provide an updated but perpetual version of Office for the future. According to the release on Microsoft’s blog, the Office LTSC is for these limited situations and scenarios where regulated devices cannot do feature updates and process control devise on manufacturing floor not connected to the internet, etc.
Most customers who are interested in Office LTSC will not use it company wide as it is limited. The good news is that you can have both Office LTSC and Microsoft 365 deployed with the same deployment tools and limit the LTSC version to just those specific situations. Both Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will remain governed by the Fixed Lifecycle Policy. Both products will be supported for five years, and both the next perpetual version of Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will be released in the second half of this calendar year.
Microsoft is now planning to release a preview of Office LTSC in April, with a full release later this year. The consumer Office 2021 variant will not be available in preview, though.
Q. Will the next version of Office have a Mac version?
A. Yes, the next version of Office will have both Windows and Mac versions for both commercial and consumer.
Q. Will the next version of Office include OneNote?
A. Yes, the next version of Office will ship with the OneNote app.
Q. Will the next version support both 32- and 64-bit?
A. Yes, the next version of Office will ship both 32- and 64-bit versions
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