What strange beauty is this? Microsoft commits to two more non-subscription Office editions

Just the apps, none of the cloud, forever – for one payment

Microsoft has cooked up fresh versions of its Office suite that will be sold under a perpetual license – and promised it will do so again in future.

The software giant will deliver two editions of Office this year.

As explained in a post penned by senior director of product marketing for Microsoft 365 TJ Devine, one is called the "Office Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) 2024" and is recommended "for use in exceptional circumstances" and in "niche yet important scenarios." Devine suggested regulated devices that can't be updated, manufacturing devices that never go online, and medical testing machines "that run embedded apps that must stay locked in time" as the exceptional/niche circumstances Redmond thinks this product serves.

The post mentions Professional Plus, Standard, and Embedded versions of the suite, and the chance to buy its component apps individually too. Prices for all will jump by ten percent over the current comparable version of Office 2019.

Devine didn't mention what the new suite will comprise. The current edition includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access and Publisher, but Microsoft has retired Publisher and it won't appear in the 2024 edition. That leaves the suite short at least one app, but with a price increase that probably still has buyers a little better off – given surging inflation since the release of the 2019 edition.

Devine was clear that Office LTSC 2024 is not aimed at folk who like the idea of buying apps outright without accompanying cloud services. "The future of work in an AI-powered world is on the cloud," Devine wrote, before suggesting that users of perpetually licensed Office 2016 and Office 2019 should hurry up and acquire a subscription before support for the old suites ends in 2025.

Office 2024 LTSC will be supported for five years, so Microsoft hasn't thrown away the upgrade treadmill entirely.

The suite will enter preview next month and go on sale later this year.

The second product Microsoft has in the works is Office 2024 – a refreshed on-prem edition of the pay-once-use-forever flagship productivity bundle.

Office 2024's price won't increase, and a version will be created for macOS.

Devine promised "more details about new features included in Office 2024 closer to general availability," without saying when that will be.

His post also promised that more info about future versions of on-premises Visio and Project will land in "coming months."

Microsoft will of course do this all again at some unknown point in the future, as Devine pledged "our commitment to another release in the future" – but only for Office LTSC. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like