Don’t believe in paying subscriptions for software? Microsoft hears you and will offer a standalone version of Office 2021 starting at $150 on October 5, the same day Windows 11 releases. We already knew most of the key details but Microsoft only announced pricing Friday.
Office 2021 is essentially a standalone, perpetual-license version of Office 365—at least in the look and feel department. Office 365, of course, is a subscription that costs about $69 a year and can be used on up to five computers. It gets continual updates as soon as they’re ready to be rolled out. Office 2021 is a one and done deal, with security updates as the only real patches to look forward to.
Office Home and Student 2021 gets you Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams for a one time fee of $150. Office Home and Business 2021 adds Outlook to the mix for $250. With prices staying the same, our previous comparison of Office 2019 vs. Office 365 still largely holds true.
So why pay for Office 2021? Features being offered in Office 2021 include new functions in Excel, such as XMATCH and Dynamic arrays, or recording your PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft said today. The features weren’t in the previous perpetual Office 2019 version. Our previous coverage of Office 2021’s reveal goes into greater detail.
One thing Microsoft doesn’t highlight as a reason to buy the latest version of Office is security. Office 2019 still gets security updates, but many people who are unwilling to pay for an Office subscription tend to still run older, unsupported versions. While those older versions continue to work perfectly fine for fundamental Office tasks, they have long ceased receiving any support, including critical security patches. That leaves them open to attacks that target Office, like this recent nasty one.
One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998.