Microsoft Office 2021: When Is It Launching and How Much Will It Cost?

Microsoft Office 2021 will launch on October 5, alongside the long-awaited launch of the new operating system, Windows 11. Combining the two poses the risk of Office 2021 being pushed into the background, but those who use Microsoft Office will have a few new features to keep them occupied on the day.

That aside, here’s what’s new in Microsoft Office 2021 and how much it will cost at launch.

Microsoft Office 2021 Is Launching Alongside Windows 11

October 5, 2021, is shaping up to be a big day for Microsoft. Not content with the official public release of Windows 11, the company is also launching Microsoft Office 2021. Office 2021 will become the new perpetual version of the world’s most popular office suite, picking up the reins from Microsoft Office 2019.

Office 2021 is available in the following versions:

  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2021
  • Microsoft Office Home and Business 2021
  • Microsoft Visio Standard 2021
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2021
  • Microsoft Project Standard 2021
  • Microsoft Project Professional 2021

Microsoft Office is available to macOS users. Furthermore, Microsoft will continue to offer a 32-bit version of Microsoft Office 2021 to those who don’t have 64-bit hardware. This is a nice change from other tech companies that are slowly phasing 32-bit applications out.

As for minimum system requirements for Office 2021, Microsoft hasn’t revealed any specific information, though we don’t expect much change from Office 2019. Microsoft Office 2019 required:

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  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • DirectX 9 or higher
  • 4GB RAM
  • At least 4GB storage

Given the requirements for Windows 11, anyone upgrading to the latest operating system will pass those system requirements with flying colors.

Related: Ways You Can Get a Microsoft Office License for Free

What’s New in Microsoft Office 2021?

Microsoft has gone with a visual restyle of Microsoft Office 2021 with “clean monoline iconography.” The menu and toolbars look slightly crisper, though they still have what we now know as the standard modern Office design.

As ever, the new version of Microsoft Office will deliver new features across its core products of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. New features will also arrive for the other applications in the package, but for now, we’re taking a look at the three most commonly used tools.

New in Word 2021

word office 2021 new search function

Microsoft Word 2019 was a good update to the word processor, introducing several new tools and a few handy quality of life features.

Microsoft Word 2021 will push that further, rolling out a much greater range of stock images, icons, and other rich media features to help bring your documents to life. Part of that also includes new drawing tools, with a new Sketched style outline to bring a personal touch to your work.

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Word (and the other Office 2021 apps) also benefit from deeper Microsoft Search integration, making it faster to find files and other elements from within Word, rather than poring through your files and folders.

New in Excel 2021

Microsoft Excel 2021 receives the biggest update, delivering three new features and functions: Dynamic Arrays, XLOOKUP, and LET.

  • XLOOKUP: Find anything you want in a table or range
  • LET: Assign names for calculation results to store or use calculations inside formulas
  • XMATCH: Search for a specified item and reveal the items relative position
  • Dynamic array functions, including FILTER, SORT, SORTBY, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE, and RANDARRAY, deliver more control and analysis potential

Then, there are the usual tweaks to performance, streamlining processes, and other minor tweaks.

New In PowerPoint 2021

powerpoint office 2021 insert stock images

Everyone’s favorite slideshow tool is back for another edition. Microsoft PowerPoint 2021 upgrades are less impressive than Excel but still worth mentioning, especially if you’re a frequent user.

  • Record Slide Show now supports presenter video recording, ink recording, and laser pointer recording.
  • Ink strokes can now also be replayed, allowing you to illustrate step by step.

There are also the customary updates to arrangement and screen elements, expanding your PowerPoint slideshow customization options. PowerPoint also has access to the same expanded range of stock images and content as Microsoft Word.

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Related: The Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office 365

You can check out the full array of tools and features coming to Microsoft Office 2021 on the official site.

How Much Will Microsoft Office 2021 Cost?

Microsoft Office 2021 will cost the same as Microsoft Office 2019. That means for the standalone Office 2021 package, you’re looking at:

  • Office 2021 Home & Student: $149.99
  • Office 2021 Home & Business: $249.99

However, you can also opt for the yearly Microsoft 365 subscription, which might work out cheaper depending on your usage:

  • Microsoft 365 Personal: $69.99/year or $6.99/month
  • Microsoft 365 Family: $99.99/year or $9.99/month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: $5/month per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/month per user
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $20/month per user
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for Business: $8.25/month per user

Microsoft Office 2021 Launches on October 5, 2021

Of course, Windows 11 also launches on the same day. Microsoft is opting for wall-to-wall coverage for maximum exposure, it seems. Still, even if Microsoft Office 2021 isn’t the star of the day, it’ll be a welcome update from the previous version when it lands.

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