Microsoft has launched the first commercial preview releases for Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and Office 2021 for Mac.
These are the next versions of non-subscription (aka perpetual) Office products and are made available only for commercial customers.
Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac will get a five-year support lifecycle after Microsoft reduced LTSC lifecycles for Windows 10 and Office from 10 to 5 years, as announced in February.
“The next perpetual version of Office for commercial customers is built specifically for organizations running regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for years at a time, process control devices that are not connected to the internet in manufacturing facilities, and specialty systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel,” the Microsoft 365 Team said.
New features in perpetual Office clients
The Office 2021 for Mac and Office LTSC for Windows preview releases launched today come with several new features already available in Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, including:
- Line Focus, which removes distractions so that you can move through a Word document line by line.
- XLOOKUP function, to help you find things in a table or range by row in an Excel worksheet.
- Dynamic array support in Excel, including new functions that make use of dynamic arrays.
- Dark mode, which might help reduce eyestrain while working in your Office apps, such as Word, Excel, or Outlook.
- Record a slide show with narration in PowerPoint.
Details on how to download and install them using Click-to-Run (Office LTSC) and the standard Apple Package format (Office 2021 for Mac) are available on the Microsoft 365 documentation website for Windows and macOS.
One-time purchase model
These non-subscription Office products will be available under the “one-time purchase” model for the same price customers paid for previous versions (i.e., Office 2019), as Microsoft 365 Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro announced earlier this year.
“The cloud is where we invest, where we innovate, where we discover the solutions that help our customers empower everyone in their organization—even as we all adjust to a new world of work,” Spataro said at the time.
“But we also acknowledge that some of our customers need to enable a limited set of locked-in-time scenarios, and these updates reflect our commitment to helping them meet this need.”
Microsoft also added today that these preview releases are the first in a series of incoming launches for the Office on-premises wave, with commercial previews for SharePoint and Project Server to be announced in the coming months.