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Microsoft announces Office 2021, solely for the cloud-averse

Microsoft has announced Office 2021, a complete version of the productivity suite designed for those who’d rather avoid a cloud-based subscription.

The standalone Microsoft Office 2021 suite will be available for both Windows and Mac, and offers the traditional one-time purchase model for personal and small business use.

Microsoft says the arrival will come later this year and will be supported for five years. There’s no change to the price compared to the last major standalone release, Office 2019, which cost $149.99/£119.99.

The company isn’t giving much away about the release but did say in a blog post it “will announce more details about new features included in Office 2021 closer to general availability.”

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Microsoft says that most of its customers are now preferring to use the cloud-based Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) model, which brings continuous updates for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, et al.

Microsoft would much rather the continuous revenue stream from monthly or annual Office subscriptions ($6.99/$69.99 or £5.99/£59.99) and users are assured of all of the latest features and security updates as long as they keep their tab running.

So, it’s safe to say that Microsoft doesn’t really want you to buy Office 2021, but at least it is committed to providing the option for those who’d rather a one-time purchase.

Prior to the release of Office 2019, the company said: “Office 2019 is a valuable update for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. And each time we release a new on-premises version of Office, customers ask us if this will be our last. We’re pleased to confirm that we’re committed to another on-premises release in the future.

“While the cloud offers real benefits in productivity, security, and total cost of ownership, we recognise that each customer is at a different point in their adoption of cloud services. We see the on-premises version of Office as an important part of our commitment to give customers the flexibility they need to move to the cloud at their own pace.”

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