Microsoft Office updates don’t come around every year. It’s more like every three years. With Microsoft’s focus on the Office 365 plan, and other software-as-a-service initiatives like Game Pass, it’s no surprise that some dedicated Office users were worried that the upcoming Office 2021 release would be subscription-only, à la the Adobe Creative Suite. Not so, says Microsoft: They’ll take one-time payments.
The news comes from a short post on the Microsoft Exchange blog, which confirms both that a new tentpole Office release (Office 2021, presumably) would come in the latter half of next year, but also that there would be a standard purchase option.
Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021.
For those of you who don’t have to deal with corporate software-speak (you lucky devils), “perpetual release” means “pay for it once and use it as long as you want.”
It’s interesting that Microsoft felt the need to specify this, because all the Office releases in the past have included a standard payment option.
There’s no word on exactly how much that perpetual license will cost. The Home & Student version of Office 2019 costs $150, which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. If you want Outlook, that’s an extra $140. Microsoft 365, which also includes OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Outlook, along with Skype and OneDrive service, is $70 a year. Expect pricing that’s pretty similar next year.