New Microsoft Office 2021: release date & specs

New Microsoft Office 2021: release date & specs

The latest version of the famous suite of apps will launch in October, at the same time as Windows 11. It will be available on PC, as well as on Mac.

What is the Office 2021 release date? 

Microsoft has just announced the release date of the next version of Office, the famous suite of apps - formerly known as Microsoft Office - and it includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook. As one may guess, its new name is Office 2021 and it will be available on October 5th, at the same time as Windows 11, the latest operating system for PC. Available both on Windows and macOS, this new Office generation will integrate fluent design in order to perfectly match the new OS. For users of older Windows versions, fear not! Office 2021 will also be perfectly compatible with Windows 10.

What Office 2021 versions will be available?

There are two ways of getting Office 2021. The first one is by subscribing to Microsoft 365 - formerly called Office 365. This subscription-based plan costs $69.99 a year and includes the Office suite apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access), as well as various online services such as OneDrive, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, and Yammer. It includes access to all the software updates for free. Office 2019 subscribers can put their hands on Office 2021 immediately. Microsoft also offers the possibility of buying a single license that will last as long as it is compatible with the OS. This means that further functionality updates aren't supported, nevertheless, Microsoft will take care of the security updates

It is important to note that companies and governmental organizations can already switch to Office 2021, thanks to the Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version that offers a 5-year follow-up of all the updates (formerly 7 years).

Lastly, Microsoft hasn't announced yet any changes regarding the free online suite, which consists of a lightweight pack of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This pack is available only when using a web browser.

Will there be an Office 2021 version for Mac?

Microsoft Office has been available for Mac for over a decade. The 2021 version will be no exception and will succeed the currently available 2019 version. Just like for PC, there will be the Microsoft 365 suite, the Office 2021 single-license, and the LTSC version dedicated to companies and governmental organizations. Moreover, Mac users can already try out Office 2021 thanks to an anticipated version of LTSC (that is normally for companies) that Microsoft has made public back in April. To give it a try, you have to connect to an official page of the Microsoft website and follow the instructions in order to have a look at all the tools, new features, and get familiar with the new interface. You can enjoy it until January 17th, 2022.

What are the latest Office 2021 features?

The editor has been very low-key regarding the new features that will be added in Office 2021. However, we know for sure that all the apps will support Dark mode. In addition, Excel may benefit from some fresh new features and an improved cell system, thanks to the XLookUp functionality. When it comes to PowerPoint, slides could get an improvement as well, offering users the possibility to create animated GIFs directly in their presentations. Finally, the OpenDocument format may come with a better support system. 

What is the Office 2021 price?

Microsoft has given very little information about the pricing. For Office 365 subscribers, the update will come at no additional cost. Or at least, this will be the case for personal use purposes and for students because business plans will see their prices increase on March 1st, 2022. When it comes to the single license offer, Microsoft hasn't said anything. However, last spring the editor stated that the price will stay the same as for Office 2019. This would mean $149.99 for the Family and Student versions. 

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