News / Software

Office 2021: The Stand-Alone No Subscription Office You Can Still Buy

  • Microsoft released Office 2021 on October 5th, the same day as Windows 11.
  • Office 2021 is an update to the stand-alone version of Windows, an alternative to the subscription-based Office 365.
  • Microsoft has detailed the new features of Office 2021, which will bring it up-to-date with the current Office 365 experience.
microsoft office 2021 apps

Microsoft will surely ship Windows 11 with a few missing features that were initially presented, like the Android apps compatibility layer, but the good news is that on October 5th we’ll also get a new Office 2021 suite.

As a reminder, Office 365 is the subscription-based version of Office, while Office 2021 is the stand-alone suite, which you buy one time and install on one computer.

For example, I run Office 2019 on my computer. It gets updates for security and some new features, but basically, it’s now dated, having the same features Office 365 had two years ago.

Office 2021 is set to reduce this gap. We don’t know if there will ever be another stand-alone version of Office 2023, but for now, those who don’t want to pay for a subscription will be OK.

Office 2021 New Features

Since this release will not just be a graphical update to match the Windows 11 look and feel, Office 2021 comes with a bunch of new tools, functions, and data types that will be of help to all you Office gurus.

Microsoft has detailed them in this post and I’ve taken a look myself at the list. Dynamic arrays caught my attention, together with XLOOKUP, XMATCH, on-the-fly translation in Outlook for more than 70 languages, instant search for emails, the updated stock image libraries available at a click of a button, and autosave for cloud uploads.

Make sure you check the list if you’re interested in learning more. I’m thinking of upgrading to Office 2021 myself, but I’ll wait a bit more for reviews to kick in. No pricing was announced yet, but I expect it to be in line with the current offering, at least $150 for the Home & Student version.

Update: the stand alone one time pay Office version is still available for purchase. It even uses the old Office designation and branding, before it became Microsoft 365.

microsoft office product lineup

Microsoft confirmed the Office 2021 Home and Student version will retail for $150, while the Home and Business edition will cost $250, just like the previous stand-alone versions.

Home and Student will include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Teams. Home and Business will add Outlook, together with a license that allows commercial use of all the apps.

Real-time co-authoring will be possible via OneDrive (learn more about OneDrive settings). Most important, you’ll get a new UI that matches the changes in Windows 11 and a refreshed ribbon menu.

Avatar for Ionuț-Alexandru Popa
I'm a writer and Editor-in-Chief at BinaryFork. I am passionate about technology, science, space exploration, and movies. I started writing about tech more than 20 years ago, after graduating in Computer Science.
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