Microsoft recently announced a significant addition to their ubiquitous office suite.
Two new versions are on deck for 2021:
A consumer Office 2021 version and Office LTSC (Long-Term Service Channel) for Enterprise customers, with both of these being made available to both Windows and macOS users.
That matters because although there has been a vast surge of companies moving to Cloud Based solutions, cloud-based Office 365 isn’t for everyone. The company detected strong demand for a non-cloud-based Office solution, and simply responded to it.
In the words of Jared Spataro, the head of Microsoft 365:
“It’s just a matter of trying to meet customers where they are. We certainly have a lot of customers that have moved to the cloud over the last 10 months, that’s happened en masse really. At the same time, we definitely have customers who have specific scenarios where they don’t feel like they can move to the cloud.”
The company didn’t release much in the way of particulars where Office LTSC is concerned, but we can expect that the overall user experience will be highly similar and that there won’t be any major UI changes. Microsoft has gotten a lot better over the years in terms of maintaining a consistent user experience across different versions of the products they offer, and it’s highly doubtful they’d do any less here.
The biggest thing to make a note of is the fact that while Microsoft typically offers a seven year support window for their products, Office LTSC will only be supported for five years. A preview version of Office LTSC will be made available in April 2021, with the formal release slated for a few months after that.
This is very good news and a welcome change for anyone who owns a business of any size and for whatever reason, is not ready or willing to migrate to the cloud. Kudos to Microsoft for the addition.