Microsoft has announced two new versions of the Office suite: Office 2021 for retail customers and Office LTSC for business customers. The software will become available for download on Windows and macOS platforms later this year.
This release is very similar to Office 2019 and is intended for users who are not eligible for a Microsoft 365 subscription. The company has not yet clarified the full list of changes in Office 2021. Still, the LTSC version (Long-Term Servicing Channel) will include such features as support for a dark theme, improved accessibility tools, Dynamic Arrays, and XLOOKUP in Excel. The consumer version should also get similar functionality. What is definitely not worth waiting for are cardinal changes to the interface (except for the appearance of a dark theme).
Office LTSC is Microsoft’s clear acknowledgment that not all business customers are ready to move to the cloud. Microsoft 365 CEO Jared Spataro noted that despite the massive transition of companies to the cloud in recent years, there are still customers who have certain work scenarios that prevent them from moving to the cloud.
Office LTSC will now only be supported for five years instead of the seven previously the case for Office. Prices for Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and selected applications will increase by 10% for commercial customers, while the cost of Office 2021 for consumers and small businesses will remain the same.
Microsoft plans to release an Office LTSC preview in April, with a full release later this year. Regular Office 2021, however, won’t get a preview. Both app packages will be available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions and will also include OneNote.
A source: The verge