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Microsoft to launch new version of Office without subscription

Microsoft Office 2019 will not be the last licensed version of the software as the tech giant announces to continue without a subscription for 2021

Microsoft will continue its non-subscription model for its Office productivity software. “Microsoft Office will see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021,” read a recent blog post by the Exchange team of Microsoft.

Essentially, Microsoft offers two options for Office: Office 2019 (the latest version) and Microsoft 365, both of which give users access to the same Microsoft apps like Word, Excel, Powerpoint for free. But, users need a perpetual licence to avail all the features of its suite. 

Microsoft has been pushing for a subscription-based version of Microsoft 365 for quite a while now. But with the latest announcement, the company has put the rumour to rest and confirmed that the perpetual licence alternative will be available in 2021.

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 2019: What’s the difference?

For someone new to Microsoft Office or looking to upgrade the services, it might be confusing to distinguish between the two since both give access to the same applications with relevant tools and services. But difference lies in the cost of ownership along with some additional attributes.

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based product that also offers added perks and benefits like 1 TB OneDrive storage and AI features. You can share the subscription in up to six devices and enjoy the features at a monthly or yearly payment. This option also offers the latest upgrades to the software itself.

Office 2019 is the alternative made for people who only wish to access the basic version of Office applications. The perpetual version offers a traditional experience to only one licensed device along with the option of one-time purchase, albeit without any new upgrades.  

Microsoft is yet to share the details of pricing and availability of the product. Still, the upcoming perpetual version of Office is expected to have a similar offering as its previous version. 

Anushka Shrivastava
Media student | Writer | Avid Reader

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