Microsoft announces Office 2021, LTSC offerings for Office and Windows 10
Today, Microsoft announced its next big Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) releases, which means that they’re supported for longer. Both Office and Windows 10 are typically on the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC), which gets feature updates every six months. LTSC releases come every few years.
Essentially, both Office and Windows 10 are getting their LTSC releases later on this year. That’s what it all adds up to, so for Windows 10, it’s going to be the 21H2 release of the OS. There’s also a new perpetual license version of Office coming, something that we’ve known since September, but now we know that it’s going to be called Office 2021.
The difference with a perpetual license version is that if you buy Office 2021, you own it forever, as opposed to a subscription model where you lose it if you stop paying. Of course, with Office 2021, you don’t get new features over time. Office 2021 replaces Office 2019, and it’s the first time that the name has increased by any amount of years instead of three in about a decade and a half.
Also, the next version of Office is not going to ship with Skype for Business; instead, it’s going to come with Teams. You’ll still be able to get it through the Microsoft Download Center. Office will still come with the OneNote desktop app, something that was abandoned for a time and then revived. It’s going to be available in 32- and 64-bit flavors, and for both Windows 10 and macOS.
Moving back to Windows 10, Microsoft is changing the support lifecycle a bit. Windows 10 client LTSC is getting five years of support now, although IoT Enterprise LTSC is still getting 10 years of support. These changes do not affect previous LTSB/LTSC releases, including versions 1507, 1607, and 1809.
Again, everything is coming in the second half of this year. That includes LTSC versions of Office, Windows 10, Windows 10 IoT, and Windows Server. Microsoft also noted that it’s increasing the price on Office LTSC by 10%, as it wants users to sign up for Microsoft 365.