Microsoft has been pushing its customers towards its cloud-based Microsoft 365 subscription service for the past decade. And as the company gears up to release Office 2021 and Office LTSC with the traditional one-time purchase model, there̵
The previous Office release, Office 2019, came with a 7-year support cycle to fix bugs and security issues. But Microsoft only provides support for Office 2021 and Office LTSC for 5 years. While this 5-year timeline isn’t a death knell for the traditional Office software suite, it raises questions about how cost-effective Office really is. Microsoft says Office 2021 costs $ 250 (the same price as Office 2019), the same price you’d pay for three years of Microsoft 365, a service that always has the latest features and can be accessed from any device at any time.
The business-oriented Office LTSC, on the other hand, will see a price increase of 10%. Office LTSC (Long-Term Support Channel) is for businesses that need a stable, immutable version of the Office software. Microsoft’s 5-year support timeline actually makes sense for Office LTSC as the product will launch around the same time as Windows 10 LTSC and go through a similar life cycle. Aligning the release timeline and support for Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC allows enterprise customers to upgrade their systems all at once, which is easier and less expensive than stunning updates.
On the bright side, Office 2021 and Office LTSC will support dark mode, improved accessibility options, and other benefits ported from Office 365. Both Office and Office LTSC will launch in the second half of 2021, with 32-bit and 64-bit versions available for Windows and macOS. Microsoft says we can expect a Windows Preview version of Office LTSC in April.
Source: Microsoft via The Verge