Late February Microsoft announced that the next version of its classic, perpetual licensed Office – the 2021 version – will be available for public preview in April and will be general available later this year. This version of the ‘classic’ office will be a special LTSC edition. Here is all you need to know.
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Power of the cloud, but not for everyone
According to Microsoft and its customers, the cloud is empowering organizations and people to be productive. From the frontline workers on the shop floor all the way to remote knowledge workers. Microsoft 365 Apps is the set of Office features people need to have, to be productive.
But you, we and Microsoft know that this go-to scenario is not for every customer. For organizations in Government, oil and gas industry or research who don’t have a regular internet connections, there now are extended offline access capabilities for Microsoft 365. But there are more special scenario’s.
New features (or not)
Specific scenarios require specific solutions. Think about industry devices with the need for Office applications but not connected to the internet. Or highly regulated environments where changes to computer configurations may increase a risk (like on the intensive care unit of a hospital). For all customer who cannot handle regular feature updates Microsoft has the Microsoft Office Long Term Services Channel available later this year. This will be the Office 2021 Standard, Office 2021 Professional Plus and Office 2021 for Macintosh.
Like Windows 10 LTSC – expected new release in the fall of 2021 – new features will be hold back for five years, which is as long as the support cycle. Security updates however will be pushed when needed (an internet connection is necessary).
Mix and match
There are scenario’s that customers will use Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise for most of their knowledge workers, but an Office LTSC version for process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the internet. It is good to know that both varieties can be deployed by the same tools (like Office Deployment Tool or ODT). And both editions can be used in the same environment at the same time without having a conflict.
10% price increase
All non-consumer editions of Office 2021 will come with a 10% price increase (compared to the 2019 version) at the time of general availability. At the same time, Microsoft committed to a new release after the 2021 one. A price increase of Microsoft 365 Apps is not foreseen at this moment.
Might you require additional information or do you want to develop possible Office scenario’s for your organization? Please so not hesitate to contact one of the Quexcel licensing experts to help you.