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Microsoft Office 2024: What We Know So Far

Since the highly anticipated launch of Office 2021, fans and users alike have been eagerly awaiting the next installment of the popular productivity suite. While it's only been a short while since the last release, rumors have already circulated to set the scene into what's in store for the future of the company’s flagship suite. Here are a few things we know so far:

LTSC
In the past, Microsoft would release updates to its Office apps every few years. However, over the past decade, the company has largely transitioned to offering these updates through Microsoft 365 subscriptions where it’s recently expanded to provide generative AI capabilities through the release of Copilot within their suite of apps.

Despite this shift, Microsoft remains mindful of the unique needs of certain customers, such as regulated devices that cannot receive feature updates for extended periods and devices like manufacturing floor control systems and medical testing equipment, which may lack internet connectivity and require static configurations for their embedded apps.

To address these needs, Microsoft maintains its commitment to supporting their Office Long-Term Servicing Channel, or LTSC. According to a recent post, Microsoft intends to do a commercial preview of Office LTSC 2024 this month with general availability to follow later this year. 

Office LTSC 2024 will bring new meeting and search options in Outlook, along with numerous Excel upgrades like Dynamic Charts and Arrays, plus overall improvements in performance, security, and accessibility. Similar to prior versions, Office LTSC 2024 will maintain its device-based “perpetual” license model, receiving support for five years according to their Fixed Lifecycle Policy.

Consumer Version
With its recent announcement of Office LTSC 2024, Microsoft has established that it is “also planning to release a new version of on-premises Office for consumers later this year.” This aligns with earlier rumors suggesting Microsoft's intention to offer a non-subscription version of Office, especially in light of its recent marketing of Copilot and its 365 suite of products. Microsoft has also since addressed their “commitment to another release in the future.”

Additional key details regarding the upcoming 2024 release include the availability of both Windows and Mac versions for both commercial and consumers. It will also still be compatible with machines running Windows 10 or Windows 10 LTSC as well as shipping both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Whether you’re looking to shift towards using cloud-based options such as Microsoft 365 or stay within a traditional, perpetual license approach, Microsoft’s commitment to new versions of Office make sure there are options available for you for years to come.

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