Microsoft’s release of Office 365 in the year 2011 took the efficiency of Microsoft productivity software towards another level. Interestingly, programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel were now accessible as a feature of membership service. Within five years after the launch of Office 365, it was named as the most well-known enterprise cloud service.
Regardless of this achievement, Microsoft still releases independent versions of all its powerful Office applications every few years. These are known as ‘Office’ trailed by the year in which it is released. The latest 2021 version is released along with the release of Windows 11.
Microsoft’s Office 2021 is aimed at personal and small business organizations, launched on 5 October. Office 2021 is optimized for the new operating system framework, and also a variant is additionally released to be accessible for macOS users. The delivery date of the latest version, 2021 is per the past releases of the Office variants from 2019 and 2016, both of which were released in September.
It’s presented in two versions: Office Home and Student 2021 and Office Home and Business 2021. Office Home and Student 2021 incorporates Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Teams, and Word, and Office Home and Business 2021 includes Outlook as well with everything else. According to Microsoft’s licensing terms, only Office Home and Business can be utilized for business purposes. Another variant of office 2021, called Office Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), was released on 16 September 2021, aimed at professional users and business clients.
In February 2021, Microsoft 365’s Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro, in an official blog, uncovered the release date of Office 2021, and along with it, he also revealed the bunch of new updated features added to it.
The scope of features that will be available with the update are:
- A wide range of new collaboration features are added to Office 2021. Microsoft has added the real-time co-authoring feature to the new Office 2021 to work with others in the same document simultaneously.
- Microsoft Teams application is also added to both Office 365 and Office 2021 so that the users can use it on both Windows 10 and Apple’s macOS.
- Office 2021 is customized with various Visual updates like neutral color palette range, rounded window corners, new tabs in the ribbon, and colored presence indicators. This will help the users to see who’s working on the same document with them.
- In Excel, the XLOOKUP function is added to help users search items in a table or row in a worksheet. The XMATCH function will let the users search for a specific thing in an array of cells.
- Microsoft PowerPoint has received a new updated Slide Show feature which will now support presentation video recording, laser pointer recording, and ink recording.
- Microsoft Outlook is updated with more than 70 different languages, which will help users translate emails and view the transcript.
- A new Microsoft Search box is added to the top of Microsoft Office applications, and this will let users quickly find anything from text to commands.
How to Upgrade to Office 2021
Your alternatives to upgrade Office are diverse, relying upon the kind of Office product you have right now have.
- Microsoft Office (Non-Subscription)
- Microsoft 365 (Annual/Monthly Subscription)
If the present variant of Office you are using is a one-time buy or non-subscription form of Office like Office Home and Student or Office Home and Business. Then you have to purchase the latest edition from any retailer or Microsoft’s website if you wish to update. You have options to either go for a Microsoft 365 subscription or buy the license of the latest office version with a one-time payment. With one license, you can install Office software on only one device. With Office 2021 bundle, you’ll only get the security updates and bug fixes during the support period, but you will not receive updates of any new features or any of the other Microsoft 365 advantages.
Installation process for Office 2021
Once you have purchased the license of the Office’s latest version, there are few necessary recommendations you have to follow before installing:
- Ensure your PC meets the minimum system requirements to install the latest version of Office.
- When the Microsoft Office Setup program is run on a PC with the previous version of Office already present in the system, the prior version is automatically deleted. However, sometimes an uninstall is essential, for example, if your system shows an error or creates problems during the installation process.
- If you uninstall the previous version of Office before installing the new one, your Office documents will not be erased. But if your Office incorporates Outlook, you might need to back up your Outlook documents.
- Mac users may need to remove the licenses of the older Office versions once they have installed the latest version, even if they have already uninstalled the previous version.
- Once the installation process is completed, your updated version of Office will update automatically on your computer, or you may receive a notification that “an update is ready to apply.”
When it comes to pricing, Microsoft hasn’t transformed costs much from the costs of the previous license versions of Microsoft office like Office 2019, which was released in late 2018. Office’s latest version for Mac and Windows is Office Home and Student 2021, which will cost about £119.99/US$149.99. Likewise, you can purchase the latest licensed version of Office Home and Business 2021 for about £249.99/$249.99.
Users will be able to purchase Office 2021 outright, which is also known as a perpetual license. This means that they won’t have to pay a yearly membership fee to utilize it. However, this permit will incorporate five years of Microsoft Office 2021 support. Office LTSC has to be purchased for every device separately, except that the permit doesn’t need to be renewed once the purchase is made.