At Microsoft, we believe that the cloud will power the work of the future. Overwhelmingly, our customers are choosing the cloud to empower their people—from frontline workers on the shop floor, to on-the-go sales teams, to remote employees connecting from home. We’ve seen incredible cloud adoption across every industry, and we will continue to invest and innovate in the cloud as we partner with organizations everywhere to build the best solutions for the new world of work. But we also know that some customers just feel that they can’t move to the cloud despite the widely embraced benefits.
Earlier today, we announced new capabilities that enable customers to unlock the value of Microsoft 365 even if they rely on shared workstations or devices that must be offline for months at a time. We also reviewed new management capabilities that have come to Microsoft 365 over the past 18 months to help IT admins ensure their businesses are secure, and their people can work with confidence from anywhere. And now, I’m pleased to provide an update on Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), the next perpetual release of Office. A commercial preview of Microsoft Office LTSC will be available in April.
A specialty product for specific scenarios
We have built Office LTSC for a limited set of specific situations: regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for years at a time, process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the internet, and specialty systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel.
We expect that most customers who use Office LTSC won’t do it across their entire organization, but only in specific scenarios. The good news is that you can deploy both Office LTSC and the Microsoft 365 version of Office with the same deployment tools.
About this release
With this release, we will bring Office and Windows into alignment in support of the same limited scenarios. Both Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will remain governed by the Fixed Lifecycle Policy. Both products will be supported for five years, and both the next perpetual version of Office LTSC and Windows 10 LTSC will be released in the second half of this calendar year.
Without access to the cloud, Office LTSC will include only a subset of the value found in Microsoft 365 Apps, building on the features included in past releases. New Office LTSC features will include accessibility improvements, capabilities like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel, dark mode support across multiple apps, and performance improvements across Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. The next version of Office will ship with Microsoft Teams, allowing customers to enable and trial this experience if they so choose. The Skype for Business client app will be available to add at the installation for customers who still need to use it.
In contrast, Microsoft 365 will continue to get the latest innovations in modern collaboration, advanced security, and intelligent capabilities and ship them as soon as they are available.
As with previous releases, Office LTSC will still be a device-based “perpetual” license. We designed it as a specialty product intended for specific scenarios and will increase the price of Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, and the individual apps by up to 10 percent at the time of general availability. And, because we are always asked at release if there will be another one, I’m happy to confirm our commitment to another release in the future.
We will provide additional information about the next version of on-premises Visio, Project, Exchange Server, Skype for Business Server, Project Server, and SharePoint Server in the coming months.
Office 2021 for consumers and small businesses
We also plan to release Office 2021 for personal and small business use later this year. Office 2021 will also be supported for five years with the traditional “one-time purchase” model. We do not plan to change the price for these products at the time of the release. We will announce more details about new features included in Office 2021 closer to general availability.
Our commitment to customers
To fuel the work of the future, we need the power of the cloud. The cloud is where we invest, where we innovate, where we discover the solutions that help our customers empower everyone in their organization—even as we all adjust to a new world of work. But we also acknowledge that some of our customers need to enable a limited set of locked-in-time scenarios, and these updates reflect our commitment to helping them meet this need.
Q. Will the next version of Office have a Mac version?
A. Yes, the next version of Office will have both Windows and Mac versions for both commercial and consumer.
Q. Will the next version of Office include OneNote?
A. Yes, the next version of Office will ship with the OneNote app.
Q. Will the next version support both 32- and 64-bit?
A. Yes, the next version of Office will ship both 32- and 64-bit versions.