With the advent of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft moving most of their users over to that platform, you would think there might not be a need for new product releases, but with many users still preferring to buy their software once-off and then keep using many years as opposed to an annualised subscription Microsoft is readying another update of their popular office suite for businesses and users.
Microsoft has announced that two versions of their new Office suite will be arriving, a consumer Office 2021 version and Office LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) for commercial customers. Microsoft has not provided too many details of what these new versions will include, though most of the existing features of Microsoft 365 will probably be included, with Microsoft also saying that the TLSC variant will also include things like dark mode support, accessibility improvements, and features like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel.
Speaking to The Verge, Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365 spoke about how Microsoft is aware how not everyone is ready to move to the cloud and how they want to ensure they can still meet the needs of those customers through their popular suite:
It’s just a matter of trying to meet customers where they are. We certainly have a lot of customers that have moved to the cloud over the last 10 months, that’s happened en masse really. At the same time, we definitely have customers who have specific scenarios where they don’t feel like they can move to the cloud. We certainly have a lot of customers that have moved to the cloud over the last 10 months, that’s happened en masse really. At the same time, we definitely have customers who have specific scenarios where they don’t feel like they can move to the cloud.
The Office Suite will likely include the usual Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote though it’s not clear if any other applications will form part of this suite and how well it will integrate with the cloud services or Microsoft’s key Team software. Microsoft is now planning to release a preview of Office LTSC in April, with a full release later this year.
Last Updated: February 22, 2021