Microsoft's Office LTSC 2021 now generally available on Windows and Mac

The new Microsoft Office UI as part of Fluent Design. Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Microsoft has announced the general availability of the non-subscription versions of Office 2021 for Windows and macOS, which are aimed at non-cloud-based users.

The Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version of Microsoft Office is designed for government and commercial customers that operate in highly regulated industries that are typically unable to update their devices with traditional feature updates. This also includes process control devices on manufacturing floors, and speciality systems that cannot connect to the internet.

The company said that some of its customers still weren’t ready to move to the cloud and it would remain committed to supporting such customers with these types of updates.

"While it offers performance improvements and expanded accessibility, it will not offer the cloud-based capabilities of Microsoft 365 Apps like real-time collaboration and AI-driven automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as security and compliance capabilities that give added confidence in a hybrid world," said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, in a blog post.

Office LTSC 2021 is only available to organizations through a volume licensing agreement and is separate from the version of Office that's available through Microsoft 365 (or Office 365) plans. The Windows version of LTSC Office will also only run on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

For macOS devices, volume-licensed customers can install Office LTSC Standard for Mac 2021 using the steps described in the deployment guide for Office for Mac.

In an overview, Microsoft said that various packages of Office LTSC 2021 are available for enterprise admins to download and deploy to the users in their organization. The products available to download and install include: Office LTSC Professional Plus 2021, Office LTSC Standard 2021, Project Professional 2021, Project Standard 2021, Visio LTSC Professional 2021, and Visio LTSC Standard 2021.

The core apps of Office haven’t changed, and still include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, among others.

This version of Office also replaces the Skype for Business client with Microsoft Teams, although the former can still be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center.

In February, Microsoft reduced the lifecycles of its LTSC products from ten to five years, which includes Office LTSC 2021. After Mainstream Support ends, Microsoft will not be offering extended support to its products.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.