Microsoft has announced the next major stand-alone version of its popular non-subscription-based Office suite. Bringing with it true dark mode support in Excel and Word, Office 2021 is now officially set to hit PCs and Macs later this year.
Though Microsoft isn’t getting into the full details or availability of Office 2021 at the moment, it did promise two versions of the suite for those who can’t (or are not ready) to subscribe to Microsoft 365, which includes the cloud versions of Office apps like Word for a monthly or yearly price. There’s both a consumer version, as well as a Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version for businesses, Both versions are set to become available on Windows and MacOS in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors.
As for features, Microsoft teased that Office 2021 will include highly requested upgrades like accessibility improvements, capabilities like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel, and dark mode support across multiple apps.
The company recently started testing a similar improved dark mode in the Microsoft 365 subscription-based version of Word, which cuts out a lot of the white space on the page when typing. It’s likely this is what could come to Office 2021, too.
With Teams experiencing a boom, Office 2021 is also set to ship with the Microsoft Teams app, in place of Skype for Business. It will also come with the desktop version of the popular OneNote app, which Microsoft recently recommitted its support to despite MacOS and Microsoft Store versions of the app also being available for free download.
“We have built Office LTSC for a limited set of specific situations: Regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for years at a time, process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the internet, and specialty systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel,” said Microsoft.
Office 2021 is going to be supported for five years, and Microsoft is even planning another release after it. “Because we are always asked at release if there will be another one, I’m happy to confirm our commitment to another release in the future,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365.
More details on pricing will be coming soon, but Microsoft promises it will not change the price of these products at the time of release. Microsoft also urges people to try the “power of the cloud,” as that is where it invests and innovates with the cloud-based Microsoft 365 subscription.
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