Microsoft Office 2021 will be released on October 5, 2021
Microsoft announced a new version of its Office product, Microsoft Office 2021, and a new Long-Term Servicing Channel version, Office LTSC 2021, earlier this year.
The company revealed yesterday that Office LTSC 2021 is now available, and that Office 2021 will be available on October 5, 2021. Both versions complement the company's cloud offerings in the Office space.
Office LTSC 2021 is designed for Enterprise customers, organizations, and business customers. The version of Office will be supported for 5 years by Microsoft, the same support length that the next Windows Enterprise LTSC releases get when they are released. Microsoft did support Windows 10 LTSC for 10 years previously, but decided to sync the support range for its Office and Windows LTSC products. Yes, syncing could also have been set to 10 years for both products, but Microsoft picked the 5-year support range instead.
Office LTSC 2021
The announcement by Jared Sparato, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, focuses on Office LTSC 2021 and reveals little about Office 2021.
Sparato reveals that the Office LTSC 2021 release that is now available won't be the last perpetual release, but that Microsoft will continue its push towards Microsoft 365 adoption and the cloud.
The following Office LTSC 2021 products will be offered for volume licensing customers:
- Office LTSC Professional Plus 2021 (Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Skype for Business, Teams, and Word)
- Office LTSC Standard 2021
- Project Professional 2021
- Project Standard 2021
- Visio LTSC Professional 2021
- Visio LTSC Standard 2021
The Office versions are supported on Microsoft's Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. Mac OS customers may purchase Office LTSC Standard for Mac 2021 to get it running on Mac devices. Access and Publisher are not available in the Mac version.
Changes in Office LTSC 2021
- New privacy policies in User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2016\Privacy\Trust Center
- Configure the level of client software diagnostic data sent by Office to Microsoft
- Allow the use of connected experiences in Office that analyze content
- Allow the use of connected experiences in Office that download online content
- Allow the use of connected experiences in Office
- 5-years of mainstream support, no extended support.
- Microsoft Teams client is included, "but only includes the free or the Exploratory service for Microsoft Teams".
- OpenDocument format 1.3 support.
- Office Telemetry Dashboard is removed.
- OneDrive for Business (Groove) client is removed.
- Power View in Excel is not available. Power BI is the tool of choice.
Microsoft recommends that administrators uninstall previous versions of Office before the new Office LTSC 2021 release is installed.
A general overview of what is new in Office 2021 is available here. The list of features applies to Office 2021 and Office LTSC 2021, unless otherwise noted.
- Look left, look right… XLOOKUP is here!
- Dynamic arrays
- LET function
- XMATCH function
- New and improved Record Slide Show
- Replay your ink strokes
- Arrange elements on your slides for screen readers
- Translator and ink in Outlook
- In Outlook, use Instant Search to quickly find emails
- Visual refresh
- See what’s new in stock media
- Find what you need with Microsoft Search
- Performance improvements
- Updated Draw tab
- Save your changes as they happen
- Support for OpenDocument format (ODF) 1.3
- Refresh, relink, or remove linked tables
- Try the new the Date/Time Extended data type in Access
- Keep tabs on your database objects in Access
- New Azure stencils and shapes in Visio
- New AWS stencils and shapes in Visio
- Content for social distancing planning in the workplace
- Try the Sketched style outline
- Pick the perfect color
Microsoft announced the official date of availability for Office 2021, but has not provided other information such as pricing information, or the editions of Office 2021 that it will make available to Home users and small business customers.
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