Later this year, Microsoft will release Office 2021, it’s next version of Microsoft Office for consumers and small businesses that, let’s be honest, it doesn’t really want to sell you!
Microsoft will offer Office 2021 to individuals and small businesses as a one-time purchase licence (a perpetual licence), a single payment for ongoing use of the software with no annual payments (subscription).
It will replace Office 2019 and all bundles (likely to be Home and Business, Home and Student and Professional) will include Word 2021, Excel 2021 and PowerPoint 2021. Then depending on the package of Office 2021, you can also have Outlook 2021, Access 2021 (Windows only) and Publisher 2021 (Windows only).
A similar product, Office LTSC (long Term Servicing Channel) will be sold to volume licence customers (medium to large organisations), which is similar to the above, but also include OneNote LTSC.
Office 2021 will be available for both Windows and Mac, although it will only be supported on Windows 10 (as is Office 2019) and the latest MacOS release and the past two releases!
Microsoft Doesn’t Want To Sell This
Let’s be honest though, Microsoft would definitely prefer NOT to sell you this perpetual licence of Office. The prices will continue to be very high for what you get, with reduced support and limited features all adding to that feeling.
So why sell it? Why have so many different bundles and ways to buy Office? It is confusing for everyone. Well, they are only really offering this to stop people swapping to Office alternatives, which are growing in number and popularity.
Microsoft 365 with it’s annual subscription is what Microsoft would prefer you to buy. It is more profitable for them and with the added features set, support, constant improvements, cloud-based elements and better security, it is hard for customers to switch away from it.
Office is still the industry standard at the moment, but it will be interesting to see whether this marketplace gets disrupted in the coming years.