Microsoft has revealed the launch date for its Office 2021 consumer release on 5 October 2021.
The tech giant also announced that its Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and Mac will be available for commercial and government users from today.
According to The Verge, Office LTSC is designed for businesses in regulated industries where apps and processes won’t change on a monthly basis, or for entities like manufacturing plants that rely on Office and want a locked-in time release.
Office LTSC won’t ship with the AI and cloud-powered features found in Microsoft 365, and it probably isn’t going to be getting any new features either, but Microsoft has said that it will support Office LTSC for the next five years, and the company is planning to commit to another perpetual version of Office for the future.
In terms of the consumer Office 2021 releasing on 5 October, it will be very similar to Office LTSC, in that it will offer a locked-in time-release without feature updates.
Both Office LTSC and Office 2021 will ship with these features:
- Line Focus – Similar to a reading mode that lets users move through Word documents line by line.
- XLOOKUP Function – A function that helps users find items in a table or range by row in an Excel worksheet.
- Dynamic Array Support – A new Excel function that uses dynamic arrays.
- Dark Mode – Dark Mode support for all Office apps like Word and Excel.
The tech giant still recommends Microsoft 365 for both businesses and consumers. Currently, Microsoft services 300-million subscribers for Office 365 on the commercial side.
Recently, the company announced its first price increase for both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 set to go into effect in March 2022.
Microsoft 365/Office 365 Updated Prices for 1 March 2022:
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic (from $5 to $6 per user)
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium (from $20 to $22)
- Office 365 E1 (from $8 to $10)
- Office 365 E3 (from $20 to $23)
- Office 365 E5 (from $35 to $38)
- Microsoft 365 E3 (from $32 to $36)