Microsoft is launching Office 2021 on the same day as Windows 11 for subscription haters
While Microsoft would prefer that anyone in the market for office software paid for an Office 365 / Microsoft 365 subscription, the company is well-aware that "some customers aren't ready to move to the cloud".
More specifically, some customers do not want to pay a subscription to use software, and this is precisely why the subscription-free Office 2021 exists. Microsoft has just made the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version available for commercial users, but the consumer version is due to launch on October 5, the same day as Windows 11.
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Available for both Windows and macOS, Office 2021 will not, Microsoft insists, be the last perpetual release of the office suite. At the moment there is no word on pricing, but with the launch being so close, it won’t be long before we know this important detail.
Although Office 2021 does have the benefit of not requiring users to pay a subscription every month or year, there are downsides as Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, points out:
While it offers performance improvements and expanded accessibility, it will not offer the cloud-based capabilities of Microsoft 365 Apps like real-time collaboration and AI-driven automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as security and compliance capabilities that give added confidence in a hybrid world.
You can check out a fairly extensive list of what's new in Office 2021 here.