Microsoft is launching its new perpetual version of Microsoft Office for consumers and businesses today, alongside Windows 11. Office 2021 is the successor to Office 2019, and it brings new features and improvements to the popular productivity suite on both Windows and macOS.
Office 2021 is the standalone version of Microsoft’s Office suite that explicitly targets consumers and small businesses who don't want to purchase a Microsoft 365 subscription. It’s also suitable for customers with PCs that don't have a stable internet connection or can't get feature updates.
The latest version of Office also comes with Microsoft Teams to help users get in touch with their friends, family, and colleagues. This is a part of the company's effort to push more users to adopt Teams' consumer features, and this can also be seen in Microsoft's just-released Windows 11 OS that includes a new Chat app powered by the Teams for consumers experience.
“The past year and a half have proven it’s more important than ever that our tools provide the flexibility to connect and create together virtually. This is why in both Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 we’re including Microsoft Teams for personal use so you can engage with anyone at any time, whether it’s chat, calls, or video. We’re also incorporating many of the collaboration features already available to Microsoft 365 subscribers into Office 2021,” explained Liat Ben-Zur," Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.
New features available in Office 2021 for consumers and business customers include a new real-time co-authoring capability that lets users collaborate on the same document with other people. The Office apps have also received a refreshed visual experience, with a neutral color palette, modernized ribbon interface, rounded corners, and more.
The Redmond giant is also introducing several other capabilities and improvements that were previously exclusive to Microsoft 365 subscribers: The list includes Translator and ink support in Outlook, an improved Recording option in PowerPoint, Dynamic array functions for Excel, and new inking capabilities in Office apps.
Microsoft says Office 2021 is compatible with Windows 11, Windows 10, and the three newest macOS versions. Office Home and Student 2021 is priced at $149.99, and the bundle includes Microsoft Teams, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. Office Home and Business 2021 SKUs cost $249.99 and the bundle includes the same Office apps plus Microsoft Outlook.