The past decade has seen software makers switch from one-time purchases to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model where users pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use their products with Microsoft being one of the biggest proponents of this through its Office 365 (opens in new tab) offering.
While being able to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the software giant's other applications online and across all of your devices is incredibly convenient, many users would still simply prefer to be able to buy a license to Office outright rather than adding yet another subscription service to their monthly expenses.
If this the case, you can still purchase Office 2019 (opens in new tab) for $150 but you won't get access to Microsoft's impressive cloud features and regular updates.
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For some time now, it has remained unclear as to whether or not Office 2019 would be the last perpetual release of the company's office suite. However, now it seems that Microsoft may indeed be releasing another stand-alone version of Office.
As first spotted by Windows Central (opens in new tab), a new blog post from the Microsoft Exchange Team announcing the next version of Exchange Server contains a single line revealing that Office 2019 won't be the last stand-alone version of the company's office suite.
In the intro of its blog post (opens in new tab), the Exchange Team let slip that “Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021.”
This is a bit strange as a new version of Office should have been announced its own blog post or even at Microsoft's recent Ignite 2020 virtual event.
Based on the single line from the Exchange Team, it appears that the company will skip Office 2020 entirely and that the next perpetual version will be called Office 2021. However, we'll have to wait for an official announcement to confirm this. Still though, this is great news for users who are tired of paying a monthly fee to use Microsoft's apps.
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Via Windows Central (opens in new tab)