Office LTSC Commercial Preview FAQ

Office LTSC & Office 2021 for Mac for organizations

1.     What is Office LTSC?

Office LTSC is the next Windows perpetual version of Office for commercial and government customers, a device-based license available as a one-time, “perpetual” purchase. The next perpetual version of Office for Mac for commercial and government customers will be called Office 2021 for Mac.

2.     If I have Microsoft 365 Apps, do I need to get the next perpetual version of Office?

No. Microsoft 365 Apps is a subscription service that makes sure you always have the most up-to-date modern productivity tools. Microsoft 365 already includes all the features that will be coming to the next version of Office, as well as many exclusive features like real-time collaboration, AI-backed productivity tools, and advanced security.

3.     What is the difference between Microsoft 365 Apps and Office LTSC for commercial customers?

Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, the cloud-connected version of Office, delivers the most productive and most secure Office experience—with the lowest total cost of ownership for deployment and management. However, for customers who can’t move all their devices to the cloud just yet due to inability to take regular updates, or have fully disconnected and secure environments, Office LTSC will be available. Office LTSC will be a one-time release version of Office apps, as with previous perpetual releases. 

The Microsoft 365 and Office 365 plans combine the familiar Microsoft Office desktop suite of premium apps with cloud-based versions of Microsoft's next-generation communications and collaboration services—including Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Office mobile, Office for the web, and Microsoft Teams —to help users be productive from virtually anywhere. Microsoft 365 Apps is the most secure version of the Office apps. Learn more about service plans in this article.

4.     Will there be perpetual versions of Office beyond this?

We are happy to confirm our commitment to another release of the perpetual version of Office in the future, beyond the upcoming release later this year.

Office LTSC Commercial Preview

5.     What is the Office LTSC Commercial Preview?

The Office LTSC Commercial Preview is an opportunity for commercial customers to try out the perpetual software prior to its release later this year. It includes Office LTSC, Visio 2021, and Project 2021 for Windows, and Office 2021 for Mac., This Preview is not for Consumers.

Office LTSC is the next perpetual release of Office for Windows for commercial customers, and the next upgrade for those customers who are not fully ready to move to the cloud in the near term. The next perpetual version of Office for Mac for commercial customers is called Office 2021 for Mac, and it is also included in the Office LTSC commercial preview. If you are using Microsoft 365 Apps, then you already have access to the latest features; many of which are not included within our Office perpetual products.

6.     When will the commercial preview of Office LTSC be available?

The commercial preview of Office LTSC, Visio and Project for Windows, and Office 2021 for Mac, will be available from April 22, 2021 thru January 17, 2022. Customers may start using the preview at any point between those dates.

7.     How can customers sign up for the commercial preview of Office LTSC?

There is no signup required to access the commercial preview of Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac. Additional information is available on Microsoft Docs.

8.     Can I use Office LTSC preview on my production tenant?

No. Users may use the Office LTSC preview for their internal business purposes only; the software may not be used in a live operating environment. As a pre-release version, it may not operate the way a release version would, is licensed “as-is” with all faults and without warranties and does not come with support from Microsoft.

9.     What will happen to my data when the preview expires?

Any data created or modified using the preview software will remain available. However, after January 17, 2022, the Office apps will go into reduced functionality mode and users will only be able to read and print documents using the preview version; they will no longer be able to create new documents or edit existing documents with the preview apps.

10.  Is the Office LTSC commercial preview open to home users?  

No, the Office LTSC commercial preview is intended for commercial customers only.

11.  What’s included in the Office LTSC commercial preview?

The Office LTSC commercial preview includes 32-bit and 64-bit Windows desktop applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, Project and Visio), as well as 64-bit Universal (Intel/Apple silicon) Mac applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote).

12.  When will the next perpetual version of Office be generally available?

The next perpetual version of Office will be generally available in the second half of 2021.

Features

13.  What features will be included in Office LTSC?

Office LTSC includes only a subset of the features included in Microsoft 365 Apps. However, this subset includes up-to-date accessibility features, capabilities like Dynamic Arrays and XLOOKUP in Excel, dark mode support across multiple apps, visual improvements, new privacy controls, and performance improvements across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. While Microsoft 365 Apps will continue to get the latest improvements in modern collaboration, advanced security, and intelligent capabilities as soon as they are available, Office LTSC will remain locked in time.

14.  What features will be included in the commercial release of Office 2021 for Mac?

Like the Windows version, Office 2021 for Mac will include only a subset of the long list of features that have been added to Microsoft 365 for Mac over the last three years. The updated apps will only include performance improvements, new accessibility features, other new and improved capabilities including Dynamic Arrays with new functions and XLOOKUP in Excel, and better performance of Word, Excel and PowerPoint than prior perpetual releases of Office. Office 2021 for Mac will also include Microsoft Teams, allowing customers to enable and trial this experience if they choose to.

15.  What version of OneNote will ship with Office LTSC?

Office LTSC will ship with the OneNote desktop app that runs on all supported versions of Windows and which is part of Office 2019 and Microsoft 365. For more information on the different OneNote versions currently available, please refer to What’s the difference between the OneNote versions?

16.  Will Office LTSC include Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams will be the default installed app for both Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac, allowing customers to enable and trial the Teams product. Office LTSC will ship with the Skype for Business Client app, but it will not be installed automatically; instead, it will be provided as an optional installation in support of our on-premises Skype for Business customers. Skype for Business will remain a separate, optional download for Office 2021 for Mac, as in previous Mac versions of Office.

Deployment

17.  How will Office LTSC be installed?

Office LTSC will be installed using the Click-to-Run installation technology instead of Windows Installer (MSI).  Click-to-Run is used to install Office 2019 volume products and has been available with most Office products since Office 2010.

18.  How will Office 2021 for Mac be installed?

Office 2021 for Mac will use the standard Apple Package format (pkg) - the same technology that we have used for previous perpetual releases including Office 2019 for Mac and Office 2016 for Mac.

19.  Will internet access be required to use Office LTSC or Office 2021 for Mac?

No, internet access will not be required to use the Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, because the license is tied to the device, and the applications are fully installed on one particular computer. This version also does not include any advanced, cloud-connected capabilities like real-time collaboration and intelligent capabilities, like Microsoft 365 does.

20.  Will internet access be required to update Office LTSC or Office 2021 for Mac?

Although security updates and quality updates to Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac are made available via the internet, they can be hosted on-premises for disconnected networks. Neither Office LTSC nor Office 2021 for Mac will receive new features. If you want to get new Office features on an ongoing basis, consider moving to an Office 365 or Microsoft 365 plan.

21.  What is the Windows operating system requirement for Office LTSC?

Office LTSC will require Windows 10, Windows Server 2019, or Windows LTSC 2019. More details about additional system requirements will be announced closer to general availability later this year.

22.  What is the operating system requirement for Office 2021 for Mac?

Office for Mac is supported on the three most recent versions of macOS. As new major versions of macOS are made generally available, Microsoft will drop support for the oldest version and support the newest and previous two versions of macOS. The three versions we support as of April 2021 are 10.14 (Mojave), 10.15 (Catalina) and 11.0 (Big Sur). Product functionality and feature availability may vary on older systems.

Additional Office for Mac system requirements will be made available closer to general availability later this year.

23.  Will the next version support both 32- and 64-bit?

Yes, the next perpetual version of Office will ship both 32- and 64-bit releases of Windows version, and Office for Mac will continue shipping 64-bit release.

24.  With the new name of Office LTSC, how can I tell which version of Office I am running?

Customers can check the Account in the backstage of any app and see which version of Office they are running. During preview, participating customers will see “Office LTSC Professional Plus 2021 Preview” as the current version.

25.  Will Teams require customers to take updates, since it is a service?

Microsoft Teams updates twice a month and requires internet connection for auto-updates. Users will be blocked from using Teams desktop if they have not updated for 3 months, or lag 2 versions.

26.  We cannot take updates, how can I turn off Teams when I install Office LTSC?

During the Office LTSC installation process, an admin will be able to exclude Teams using either the Office Deployment Tool or Group Policy. If the admin uses the Office Deployment Tool, they can use the ExcludeApp element to exclude Teams from being installed. If the admin uses Group Policy, they can enable the Don't install Microsoft Teams with new installations or updates of Office policy setting. They can find this policy setting under Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2016 (Machine)\Updates.

27.  Will the next perpetual version of Office support Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) scripts?

Yes, the next perpetual version of Office will continue supporting Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

Support

28.  What support will come with the next perpetual version of Office for commercial users?

Both Office LTSC and the commercial version of Office 2021 for Mac will have 5 years of support under the Fixed Lifecycle Policy.

29.  Will Office LTSC or Office 2021 for Mac have any extended support?

No, Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac will only have 5 years of mainstream support.

30.  When will Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac go out of support?

Office LTSC and Office 2021 for Mac will go out of support in the second half of 2026.

31.  Where can I find more information about the next perpetual version of Office?

Read the February 18 announcement Microsoft 365 Blog.

Refer to the Preview documentation for IT Pros and admins on Microsoft Docs.

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Last updated May 7, 2021 Views 653 Applies to: