Despite the fact that Microsoft puts a lot of emphasis on the subscription structure of Office 365, the company continues to offer variants for users who only want to pay for the software once. For this purpose, the company is introducing Office LTSC.
In the announcement, Microsoft writes that Office LTSC is primarily intended for devices that must remain disconnected from the Internet for months or even years at a time. As examples, the tech giant mentions regulated devices that cannot receive updates for years, process control devices on the manufacturing floor that are not connected to the Internet and specialised systems that must stay locked in time and require a long-term servicing channel.
Less comprehensive than Microsoft 365
Microsoft Office LTSC is less comprehensive than Microsoft 365, as a number of features that require an Internet connection are missing. However, new features such as Dynanmic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel, support for dark mode, and performance improvements are present in the new package. Furthermore, Skype for Business has been replaced by Microsoft Teams, although Skype for Business can still be downloaded separately.
Microsoft emphasises that users who opt for a subscription to Microsoft 365 always get the latest innovations and new functions, while the LTSC version remains in the state in which it was delivered. Microsoft does offer five years of support for Office LTSC, just as it will for Windows 10 LTSC.
To reiterate that Office LTSC is an exceptional product “for specific scenarios”, Microsoft is raising the price of Office Professional Plus, Office Standard and the standalone apps by 10 percent. The company promises that it will continue to deliver LTSC versions of Office in the future.
A new standalone version of Microsoft Office will also be released for small businesses and consumers. For these users, Office 2021 will be released later this year. Its price remains unchanged. All Office versions will remain available in variants for 32bit and 64bit computers.