October 17, 2021

Excellent Pix

Unlimited Technology

Microsoft Keeps Office 2021 Starting Price at $150, Shows Off Design Tweaks

Microsoft has decided to maintain the $149.99 starting price for the next version of Office for both PC and Mac.

On Friday, the company revealed pricing for the consumer version of Office 2021, which requires only a one-time purchase, not a subscription like Microsoft 365.

Office Home and Student 2021—which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—remains at $149.99. The company is also sticking staying at $249.99 for Office Home and Business 2021.

But in some bad news, Microsoft says the older Office 2013 won’t be officially supported on the upcoming Windows 11, which launches on Oct. 5, the same day as Office 2021.  

“So now is the right time to upgrade to Microsoft 365 or Office 2021 if you’re planning to upgrade to Windows 11,” the company wrote in a blog post. The software will be available for purchase at Microsoft.com and via retailers.

The new collaboration features

On the same day, Microsoft also detailed what you can expect from Office 2021. The company is incorporating “many of the collaboration features already available to Microsoft 365 subscribers into Office 2021,” it says.

“With real-time co-authoring, you can work with others in the same document at the same time. There’s no need to send extra notes or emails because everyone will be notified when a file is updated,” the company adds. However, to enable the co-authoring feature, you’ll need to save the file in a OneDrive cloud storage account. 

Microsoft is also updating the look of its various apps in Office 2021 so they’re a closer match to Windows 11’s new interface. “You’ll notice a neutral color palette, softer window corners, refreshed tabs in the ribbon, and colorful presence indicators so you can easily see who’s working on a document with you,” the company says. “And yes, this update is also available to people using Windows 10.”

Microsoft Teams

The other change is how Office 2021 and the Microsoft 365 are both getting Teams, the company’s video-conferencing and chat app. Teams is also arriving on Windows 11 as a built-in function for personal conversations. 

Interested customers can see a full list of changes to Office 2021 on Microsoft’s web page. They include improved app performance, an updated draw tab, and a wider collection of stock images you can place in documents.

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