Office 2021 perpetual consumer release date locked for Windows and MacOS

Today Microsoft announced the release date for Office 2021, the company's consumer perpetual offering for the service. At the same time, Microsoft revealed the release of the Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for both Windows and Mac for government and business licensing to general availability. If you're looking for the next one-time-purchase Office build for your own home computer, look to October!

Office LTSC 2021 is out today, made specifically for organizations looking to volume license the software. This is Microsoft's productivity software suite, separate from the Office that's included with Microsoft 365 or Office 365 plans. If you already work with "Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise", otherwise known as Office 365 ProPlus, you already have everything you need – you do not need Office LTSC 2021.

Microsoft's Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, spoke about the release of Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and macOS this morning. Spataro made it clear that Microsoft would RATHER you use their subscription models with Microsoft 365 Apps, so you and your business or organization can use the cloud-based features not available in the LTSC builds.

"While [Office LTSC] offers performance improvements and expanded accessibility," said Spataro, "it will not offer the cloud-based capabilities of Microsoft 365 Apps like real-time collaboration and AI-driven automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as security and compliance capabilities that give added confidence in a hybrid world."

Sparato also confirmed that this Microsoft Office LTSC release "will not be our last perpetual release." They'll continue to invest in making cloud-based productivity features and internet-connected features for Office products through the future, but they'll also make versions of their software ready for devices that, for a variety of reasons, shouldn't have software that's always connected to the internet, or requires software updates to operate.

For the everyday consumer, the Office 2021 release date is October 5, 2021. Microsoft suggested today that they'll be delivering more details about this build in the near future. They also announced that they've made both Project and Visio ready for general availability as of today. If you check the Office LTSC 2021 page you'll find all the information you need if you're running an office or a government organization.