Two weeks after the release of Office LTSC 2021, the new version that is not a subscription-based version of the office suite for enterprises, Microsoft has released Office 2021 for students, consumers as well as small companies. The consumer and enterprise office 2021 versions have a similar set of new features. Before we go into those new features, we'll look at how Microsoft has differentiated the subscription and non-subscription versions of Office.
Microsoft has been advertising its subscription version of its Office suite, also known as Office 365/Microsoft 365 depending on the license, and over the non-subscription version which is known as the "perpetual version" of Office for years. Office 365/Microsoft 365 subscribers pay monthly costs to access the software, and those who purchase the perpetual version pay one-time fee and retain it forever.
The Office 365 version was released in late 2015. In the beginning, both the perpetual and Office 2016 versions had the same features. The two versions soon were different. Microsoft started adding new features to Office 365, which the perpetual Office 2016 version did not get. The moment Microsoft Office 2019 was released three years later, it had some, but by no way all of the features Office 365 had at that time. The perpetual Office 2019 has remained static while Office 365/Microsoft 365 is still receiving new features. Microsoft even went so far as to release an advertisement that slammed Office 2019 as compared to Microsoft Office 365.
While Microsoft promoted live collaboration as an important feature in Microsoft Office 2016, it was discovered that the complete real-time editing experience (what Microsoft calls "co-authoring") was reserved for Office 365 subscribers. The Word 2016 and PowerPoint 2016 desktop clients for non-subscribers offered an unwieldy form of group collaboration that required you to save the documents you shared to share your edits with your colleagues and to see the changes that were made. You needed to download the less powerful online versions of Word or PowerPoint for the ability to view the changes that were made in real-time. The Excel 2016 desktop client did not allow live collaboration for non-subscribers.
Microsoft Office 2019 has real-time coauthoring in Word but not in Excel and PowerPoint. To collaborate in real time, non-subscribers were required to continue using Excel Online or PowerPoint Online.
Windows 11 looks and feels amazing
Microsoft launches office 2021 the day it starts rolling out Windows 11. Microsoft Office 2021 will be being given a new look that is evident in the above image and in the upper right. It'll look like Windows 11. The updated design features rounded windows, as well as a neutral color palette.
Integration with Microsoft Teams
Office 2021 is integrated with the chat and video capabilities of Microsoft Teams. It will be possible to chat and join Teams video calls from directly within Office.
Pricing and support for Office 2021
The prices for Microsoft Office 2021 remain the same as for Office 2019: Office Home and Student 2021, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Microsoft Teams is priced at $150. Office Home and Business 2021 includes all that, plus Outlook and costs $250. Each one can be used by only one user. You'll require an Microsoft account to use them.
Take note that Windows 2013 isn't compatible with Windows 11, so if you upgrade to the latest version of Windows and wish to continue using the standalone version of Office then you'll need to MS office.