Microsoft Office 2021 and LTSC announced

[German]Besides the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC for 2021, Microsoft has just announced a new Office 2021 (as well as an LTSC version) for the 2nd half of 2021. This new Office 2021 version is supposed to get only five years of support for updates.


At Microsoft, they see the future in the cloud and say that the overwhelming majority of customers are opting for the cloud. But Microsoft knows that some customers still cannot or do not want to switch to the cloud. For these customers, Microsoft has an Office version with long-term support (on-premise solution) as well as a purchase version called Office 2021 in development in addition to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC (see Windows 10 LTSC: Next version with reduced 5 years support).

The versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server and Project Server expected in 2021, on the other hand, will only be available as a subscription model for rent (see this article from Ignite 2020).

Office 2021 as a retail version

The announcement was made by Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, in the article Upcoming commercial preview of Microsoft Office LTSC.  According to the article, Microsoft plans to release an Office 2021 for home users and small businesses later this year. Office 2021 can be purchased once, is as not a subscription model like Office 365. This Office 2021 version will be supported with updates for five years. The price for these products is expected to remain the same (probably to the previous version Office 2016) at the time of release.

Office 2021 is said to be available for both macOS and Windows 10, with 32-bit and 64-bit versions offered. OneNote is expected to remain part of the Office 2021 suite.  Microsoft plans to announce more details about the new features in Office 2021 shortly before general availability.

Microsoft Office LTSC

In the article linked above, Microsoft also introduces a Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) as the next permanent release. Office LTSC is designed for a limited number of specific situations: regulated devices that can't accept feature updates for years, process control devices in manufacturing that aren't connected to the Internet, and specialty systems that are expected to provide the same functionality over long periods of time and don't allow constant changes via feature updates.

Both Office LTSC and the Microsoft 365 version of Office can be rolled out using the same deployment tools. In line with the upcoming Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021 release, Office LTSC will get a support period of five years. Updates will be deployed during this time.  The next version of Office will ship with the Microsoft Teams app. Skype for Business client will no longer ship with it, but will be available as a download from the Microsoft Download Center. A commercial preview of Microsoft Office LTSC should be available in April.


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