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Not into subscriptions? Get Office 2021 as a standalone

Microsoft has announced that next year, you’ll be able to get Office 2021 with a perpetual license. But what does this mean, and is it the right option for you, or you and your business? We’ve found out everything you need to know about Microsoft’s latest Office offering. 

What is Office 2021?

Office 2021 is the latest Office suite from Microsoft, which will launch on October 5th, alongside Windows 11. There are a few new features to get excited about; XLOOKUP is being introduced, alongside Dynamic Arrays, LET function and XMATCH function for Excel.

Powerpoint also has some new updates, such as the new and improved Record Slide Show. This feature allows you to record an audio over the top of your powerpoints, as well as ink recording and laser pointer recording. Ink Replay is another great feature, allowing you to replay your ink strokes as they were drawn. 

Excel and Powerpoint seem to have received the majority of the updates, although Outlook has received a translator function, as well as some additional Draw functionality, so you can annotate and highlight emails with a pen, stylus or your finger. Find out what else is new in Office 2021 here.

You’ll be able to use Office 2021 with Windows 11 and Windows 10.

What is a standalone, and a perpetual license?

A standalone is a product that you can purchase for a one-off fee. That means once you’ve purchased the product, you don’t need to pay any subscription fees. Having a perpetual license also means that you have the ability to run the application as long as you want, regardless of whether it is still a supported service and receives security updates.

What’s the difference between Microsoft 365 and the standalone version of  Office 2021?

There are two standalone versions of Office 2021, one for personal users (Office 2021) and one for businesses (Office LTSC). 

The big difference is that the standalone version of Office 2021 will receive security updates for five years. After that time, the standalone version will not receive any updates. Microsoft 365 users, as a subscription service, will continually receive security and feature updates, so they’ll always be running the latest version of the Office suite.

For Office LTSC, there’s a slightly longer period of support, as it is designed to be used on systems which probably won’t change for the next decade. Microsoft will offer security updates for 10 years.

Office 2021 and Office LTSC also won’t come with any cloud-connected features. That means you don’t receive Skype as standard, or OneDrive and it’s associated storage capacities. 

Which is right for me, and my business?

Office 2021 is a great option for home users and students who don’t want to subscribe to Microsoft 365, and aren’t fussed about the cloud-connected features that they’ll be missing out on. 

Office LTSC, by comparison, is only a good option for businesses who are using closed systems. It isn’t a good option for most businesses, who are more likely to use the cloud. 

Except for a few specific situations, Microsoft 365 is always going to be a better option for businesses, due to the additional collaboration tools, email service and OneDrive. 

Not sure what version of Office to go for? Give us a call on 0191 482 0444


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