Microsoft Office 2024 confirmed: won't require a subscription
Microsoft Office 2024 exists, does not require a subscription and it will be released in 2024.
Microsoft Office is provided in two different versions and several editions currently. There is the subscription-based Microsoft 365 version and the non-subscription version Microsoft Office 2021. While both are based on the same core Office version, things are not equal in many regards.
The most obvious difference is that the cloud-based version requires a subscription and an endless stream of money that wanders from the pockets of users and companies into Microsoft's wallets. The standalone Office 2021 does not require a subscription. It is more expensive, at least when you buy it directly from Microsoft, but it is a one-time payment kind of deal.
There is another difference. Microsoft does not push new features and updates to the standalone Office version. It is supported with security updates and bug fixes, but most of the new features land only in the cloud-based version. Also, certain connectivity features, mostly to Microsoft 365, may or may not work after the Office version leaves mainstream support.
Now, first screenshots of Microsoft Office 2024 have appeared online.
As you can see, the screenshot confirms the existence of Microsoft Office 2024 Preview. While there is still a chance that Microsoft is releasing Office 2024 only as LTSC versions, it seems unlikely that the company is going down that route.
In any event, the news is remarkable, as it was not clear if there would be another standalone version of Office after Microsoft Office 2021.
Provided that Microsoft Office 2024 will be released for all kinds of users, it is good news. Those who prefer to own software licenses may continue to do so by making a one-time purchase. While Microsoft will continue to push subscriptions everywhere, it knows that a sizeable number of Office users won't get a subscription for Office.
It is too early to tell what features Office 2024 will support and which features it won't support. A likely scenario is that Microsoft will integrate changes it made to the Microsoft 365 version of Office into the standalone product.
Microsoft plans to release Microsoft Office 2024 in the second half of 2024 according to our sources. Information about price, features and editions is not available yet and it may take months before Microsoft is announcing Office 2024 officially.
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