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Microsoft Office 2021 price, features, and everything else you need to know

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Microsoft’s office suite is now available in Office 2021.

It looked like we might never see another version of Office after the company went all-in with its Microsoft 365 subscription package. Microsoft now confirms that users will be able to access the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office products for a single fee.

The Office 2021 bundle arrived the same day as the company’s new operating system, Windows 11 (opens new tab) and has the same pricing structure as the previous edition.

This article covers everything you need about Office 2021 from release date and availability, pricing, and new features.

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Let’s get to the point

What’s it? The most recent version of Microsoft Office Software

When will it be available? October 5, 2020

What is the cost of this? Office Home and Student 2021: $149.99/PS119.99, and Office Home and Business 2021: $249.99/PS249.99

Who are the target audiences? Office users that prefer one-time purchases to regular subscription fees

What is it?

Office 2021 is Microsoft’s latest version of its famous suite of office software, available for Mac and PC. It contains favorites like Word, Excel and PowerPoint (opens new tab), but also newer offerings like Team (opens new tab).

Despite the fierce competition from Google Workspace (opens new tab), Microsoft Office is still widely considered to be the best bundle of productivity Tools (opens new tab).

You can now buy the new bundle.

Microsoft Office 2021 (Image credit to Microsoft)

Pricing and availability

Microsoft Office 2021 is available in two versions: Office Home and Student 2021 and Office Home and Business 2021.

The first is less expensive at $149.99/PS119.99. It comes with Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as OneNote (opens new tab) and Microsoft Teams on both Mac and PC.

Office Home and Business 2021 costs $249.99/PS249.99. The only difference between this and the lower priced option is the addition of email service. (opens in new window) Outlook and legal rights to the apps in a commercial context.

Each device must be purchased both versions of the suite.

Features

The latest Microsoft Office package includes a variety of new features. This is a complete (opens new tab).

Other than performance improvements, highlights include OpenDocument format (ODF 1.3) support, new Excel functions and a new PowerPoint presentation recording feature. Also, Outlook has updated translation capabilities.

Users will find an intelligent search box at the top of all Office apps. It is designed to make it easier for them to surface specific text, commands, and documents.

All apps received a visual overhaul that aligns their user interface with Microsoft’s new operating platform, Windows 11. This means that the interface has been updated with a ribbon interface, new colors palettes and rounded corners.

Microsoft Teams in Office 2021 for Windows 11 (Image credit to Microsoft)

Microsoft 365 vs Office 2021: What is the difference?

Microsoft 365 and Office 2021 are fundamentally different in that customers pay for their services.

Microsoft 365 follows the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model, whereby customers pay a regular subscription fee for access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc. Office 2021 customers pay a one-time upfront fee to get a lifetime license.

Office 2021 could be more affordable in the long-term, and the apps will still have the same online collaboration features that their Microsoft 365 counterparts.

However, the downside to choosing Office 2021 over Microsoft 365 is that the feature set won’t be updated for a long time (i.e.,. Microsoft 365 users will have access to the most recent updates and features until the next version is available.

Microsoft 365 is also an option for businesses who prefer to move spending from CapEx into OpEx.

We’ve created a list of top Office alternatives (opens new tab) about

You may also be interested in How to Download and Use Microsoft Word Free (opens new tab).

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