While Microsoft has been making tweaks and improvements to its suite of office apps for quite some time, a proper change to the numbered year hasn’t happened since 2019. That changes today, though, as Microsoft officially unveils Office 2021.
As is par for the course with these updates, as of recently anyway, this new software is made for folks who don’t want to subscribe to Microsoft 365. It’s essentially a standalone option, which is good for the users out there who don’t want to fork over money on a regular basis for a subscription. As noted today by The Verge, Microsoft isn’t going into great detail about all the bells and whistles of Office 2021 quite yet, but we do know some things.
For starter, we know that the new Office 2021 will support dark mode right out of the box. There will also be improvements made to accessibility features and more. These changes are also coming to Microsoft’s Office LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) variant, which is made for commercial users.
The original report says that Microsoft won’t be making any major UI changes in this release of Office 2021. The company is apparently focusing its attention in that regard to Microsoft 365.
Microsoft says that the LTSC version, released in this way, is a nod that not all business customers are ready to move their workload to the cloud just yet:
It’s just a matter of trying to meet customers where they are,” explains Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365, in an interview with The Verge. “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.
For those who use Microsoft’s suite of apps in Office, the upgrades to the 2021 variant will probably be a welcomed one. But we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out what, exactly, Microsoft is going to add with the new software release later this year.