Microsoft Office 2021
Microsoft Office 2021
Microsoft Office has offered many iterations of their software since 1995, when Microsoft Office was first released to the public. While the famous Clippy the paperclip who used to advise users on the functions of Office is gone, only to come back, and be removed again, more than a few things have changed about how Microsoft offers Office and the types of plans offered. Instead of a floppy disk or CD, Office is largely downloadable and offers many more features than in past years, especially with higher speed Internet generally available.
In February of 2021, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro announced that Microsoft will be releasing a new version of Microsoft Office 2021. Microsoft Office 2021 arrives about two years after the release of Microsoft Office 2019. Many businesses use Microsoft Office’s suite of products for their daily writing, editing, powerpoints, and data projects. Many of these businesses are also offered some choice from Microsoft in regards to their software. Let us explain what’s coming up in Microsoft 2021 and the difference between the popular Microsoft Office 365 platform and Microsoft Office 2021.
What changes are coming to Office 2021?
While Spataro didn’t cover every possible detail involved in the release of Microsoft Office 2021, which will be released in April of 2021, he did provide a few things you might want to know about.
Microsoft Office 2021 will be a product called Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel, or Microsoft Office LTSC. This is a new naming convention at Microsoft that acknowledges the specific situation the software will be used for, which is largely in business and manufacturing facilities where computers are unlikely to be connected to the Internet for some time, and will need to wait for delays, if they ever receive one at all. Microsoft also expects that many organizations that upgrade to the new Microsoft Office will have a mix of Microsoft Office 2021 LTSC and other Microsoft products that are connected to the Internet and upgrade with more frequency.
Major changes to Office 2021 include:
Dynamic arrays refers to the ability to use a formula to provide results to a range of cells, in a process often referred to as spilling. The ability to use Dynamic Arrays was introduced in Excel in 2018. Dynamic arrays make formulas and their results display more efficiently by opening up more cells and rows to fill one rather than providing an error message or stopping you.
Office 2021 will have XLOOKUP, which is a more modern version of VLOOKUP. With the ability to find values in vertical or horizontal ranges, which used to require HLOOKUP and VLOOKUP. XLOOKUP supports more specific and more broad matches. XLOOKUP broadens and combines the two previous versions of Lookup and makes them easier to use for people seeking specific variables.
Dark Mode in Office 2021
You’ve probably heard of the idea of Dark Mode from your mobile device and other software driven devices. Dark Mode is a simple high contrast mode that is helpful to users who don’t want to stare at hot white spots on their screen all day. In the case of Microsoft Office 2021, Dark Mode will not just be applied to the ribbon bar at the top of Office 2021, but is also available for the document itself. When Dark Mode is enabled for the document, the text color changes to better stand out on the background, without actually printing off in a way that reflects Dark Mode. Other colors like reds, blues, and yellows will also be more muted. The feature is welcome for many long time users, and especially those use other software and Internet browsers that have supported this feature.
Dark Mode is also said to save power on some kinds of monitors by keeping lights on your monitor off when they are displaying black anyway, or by using less power to light up grey instead of white or green. Office 2021 will be more monitor friendly!
There’s More to Office 2021
While there are not further details yet, new improvements are being made to Visio, Project, Exchange Server, Skype for Business, Project Server, and Sharepoint server in the coming months as the main software is getting ready to be released mid 2021.
Other likely improvements coming to Microsoft Office 2021 include the Text Predictions feature. This feature has already been introduced in the web-based version of Outlook and helps users use correct grammar and save time typing by allowing them to use pre-selected sentence beginnings and endings. Many users who question their own writing or otherwise do not excel at typing will appreciate this addition. Microsoft Office 2021 will present your options in grey, and you can use Tab or right arrow to use the suggestion or escape to reject. Text Predictions users look forward to more professionally written emails in a similar manner to simple auto correct on their mobile phones or tablets.
You’ll also get Microsoft OneNote with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions available depending on your operating system. Microsoft Teams, which has enjoyed a surge in popularity with more workers working at home, will be included separately. Teams is a remote video chat, audio chat, and screenshare software that allows for presentations and collaboration. In most cases, a computer not always connected to the Internet won’t find much use in a video or audio chat program that uses data and the Internet.
Spataro claims that the new Microsoft Office 2021 will have better performance too. This is welcome to some users who have older, slower computers that take a while to load big spreadsheets or the individual programs from Office. No further details have been released regarding actual required computer specifications.
How is Microsoft Office 2021 different from Office 365?
The biggest difference between Office 2021 and Office 365 is that Office 365 receives constant updates and is subscription based. Companies pay for Office 365 every month, or every year, and received updates via the cloud. Office 2021 is not cloud based and will receive less frequent updates, and is expected to be installed mostly on computers where the computer might be connected only via an internal network or that doesn’t need consistent updates. Without a subscription, Office 2021 will be less expensive to most regular users, especially if they intend to use it for multiple years without paying monthly.
Office 2021 will not have access to the cloud, though companies will be aware of this and will likely only install Office 2021 on computers that don’t need the updates, nor the ability to access Office 2021 from other locations.
Office 365 is perhaps best known for working on any computer with an available browser accessed by the users login, which is great for remote workers, on the go sales people, and people with consistent access to the Internet. Microsoft Office 2021 provides the other end of this spectrum, requiring a one time key to install, and not requiring frequent updates after with no sign in to the Internet needed to keep the software running.
Jared Spataro also mentioned that while many businesses have gradually made the leap to using Cloud based services, some simply will not because they don’t want to pay a subscription fee, or because their businesses are in manufacturing where they don’t often involve a need for a consistent Internet connection for a computer that just uses a network to control machinery. These companies “don’t feel like they can” move to the cloud, and may not ever unless something changes with how they receive data.
Also missing is the well known Microsoft Outlook email program. Users who tend to use browser based programs or prefer alternatives won’t miss Outlook, though it does offer robust search and template features for many users.
Who is Microsoft Office 2021 for?
Though the pricing for Microsoft 2021 has not been released yet, it will be cheaper than a subscription to Microsoft Office 365. For an average user who primary uses Microsoft Word and Microsoft Powerpoint occasionally, a complete subscription to the Office Suite is not necessary. Microsoft Office 2021 will fit well in a small business that doesn’t need consistent updates, or even on computers within secure factories that connect only to a local network and sometimes don’t have access to the Internet to download updates.
Who is Microsoft Office 2021 available to?
Microsoft Office 2021 will be available for Windows and Mac OS users. Microsoft also plans to release a Office Home & Student edition and a Office Home & Business edition for a variety of users to meet their needs. While details are not clear about what programs will come with Home & Business, the Office Home & Student edition will likely be a bit cheaper and involve an agreement stating you are using it for non commercial work.
What is different between Microsoft Office 2019 and Microsoft Office 2021?
Microsoft Office 2019 offered a seven year support window. Office 2021 LTSC will offer only five years. Aside from the differences listed above, other differences between Office 2019 and Office 2021 are unknown as of yet.
Why a new Office 2021 without a subscription?
Many of Microsoft’s recent developments like Office 365 and Teams are cloud based, meaning that they can be accessed from anywhere with the Internet and they can be saved online for used later. While Office 365 offers many features and constant support, it also costs $100 per year for up to 6 users who want to access Word, Powerpoint, Excel, OneNote and other options. This can add up quickly, and some users won’t even notice the difference in updates. While some users appreciate the 6 terabytes of storage, others simply don’t need it with a large amount of free space available on other online drivers and their own computer or tablet - or they can just use email, messenger programs, or USB drives to exchange files.
What will it cost?
Exact price figures have not been released yet, but Office 2021 is said to cost within 10% of the same price as Office 2019, which started at $149.99. For reference, the Office 2021 software will cost about one and a half year of the price of a family plan through Microsoft Office 365.
While many businesses have moved to the cloud and are readily using Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft is also making efforts to upgrade users who have no need for the cloud with Microsoft Office 2021. Office 2021 will include many useful features for making Microsoft Excel more efficient, and the entire program much easier to use for people who are on screens for more than 8 hours per day. Many details are not released as of yet but will surely bring Office 2021 up to the same caliber of the frequently updated cloud based subscription program of Office 365. While one may expect to pay slightly more than the price for Office 2019, they will also have no monthly or yearly bill for updates they don’t necessarily use.
We will be providing more details once Microsoft releases more information about Office 2021 as the software gets closer to release toward the middle or end of 2021. One of our hopes is that the software is lighter and loads faster on computers that don’t receive many updates and won’t be upgraded themselves. Faster programs are always better especially when the hardware that supports them isn’t changing.