Office 2021 will be a standalone version for businesses and folks who don’t want to deal with a Microsoft 365 subscription. There will be two tiers, including the $150 Office Home and Student 2021, which will include the usual software suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Microsoft Teams will also be a part of the package for both PC and Mac users.
If you’re on the business side of things, the $250 Office Home and Business 2021 includes everything mentioned above, plus the Outlook email suite for PC and Mac, and the rights to use Office apps for your business.
The new Office 2021 will have a more modern design to match the softer, rounded aesthetics of Windows 11. There’s even a reprised ribbon interface, along with a more neutral color palette.
If you choose to go with the Office license instead of a subscription, you’ll still get some of the collaboration features available in the cloud-based Microsoft 365, including real-time co-authoring, OneDrive support, and direct Teams integration.
You can peep the list of Office 2021 features on the official Microsoft support page. Some of the updates include general performance improvements and updated Draw tabs across the board. One of the most notable features that will undoubtedly resonate with the late-night essay-writing crowd is that Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will have Open Document Format (ODF) 1.3 support. Free, open-source alternatives like LibreOffice produce the ODF file. It’s what folks across Mac, Windows, and Linux use instead when there’s no available access to Microsoft Office. And this will help ensure that formatting and macros stay intact during the file conversion process.
The new version of Office 2021 will work on Windows 11, Windows 10, and the latest three versions of macOS. Start backing up those storage drives, and be sure to mark your calendars for Oct. 5.