Office 2021 for Mac (Preview) released for testing

This week Microsoft released Office 2021 Standard for Mac (Preview) with early testing versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, and Teams. This system is not intended for home users of Office, and is instead meant as a preview program for organizations expecting to buy and deploy "the new volume licensed (perpetual) version of Office that is scheduled to be released later this year."

Requirements for Office 2021 for Mac are fairly broad. This new software is supported on the three most recent versions of macOS, and will continue to be supported by the three most recent versions of macOS through the future. As each new version is released, the oldest of the three will be phased out of support for Office 2021.

As of April of 2021, the three versions of macOS that are supported with Office 2021 for Mac (Preview) are macOS Big Sur (11), macOS Cataline (10.15), and macOS Mojave (10.14). Users will need at least 4GB memory and 10GB available disk space.

Office 2021 for Mac (Preview) has native support for both Intel-based Macs and Apple Silicon. Once the installer package is downloaded, internet access is not required to install, activate, or use the software.

This version of Office 2021 for Mac (Preview) is very, very similar to Office 2019 for Mac. In fact, according to Microsoft, there are "no significant differences in how Office 2021 for Mac (Preview) is installed and runs compared to Office 2019 for Mac."

Microsoft suggested this week that organizations on the fence about moving to Office 2021 should consider the ease with which the switch can be made from one to the other. Management tools can run VL Serializer in the background "even while the user still has Office 2019 for Mac apps open and running." Once the user closes and opens their Office 2019 for Mac apps, Office will automatically switch over to the Office 2021 license.