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Microsoft Office 2021 lands on Windows 11 day – here’s all the new features

Microsoft has finally detailed the price and features for the standalone version of Office 2021 it’d rather you not buy.

The update to the non-subscription, one-purchase version of the classic productivity suite will land on October 5, the same day as the Windows 11 operating system roll out commences.

Here’s some of the new features Office 2021 buyers can expect:

Real time-collaboration

The key new feature is the ability for Office 2021 users to access the collaboration features previously limited to the Microsoft 365 subscription. This will be powered by OneDrive, which means users will still need to save their documents to the cloud storage platform to share and work with others.

“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,” Microsoft says in a blog post.

Real time collaboration Office 2021

The arrival of Microsoft Teams

Another feature previously the privilege of subscribers, Microsoft Teams comes to Office 2021. It’s already available in Windows 11, but this means Windows 10 users will get it too. There’s chat, video calling and planning tools available in this app.

Microsoft Teams Office 2021

Fresh Windows 11-inspired look

The Windows 11 update drops in just a few days, but those on Windows 10 will still benefit from design refinements in Office 2021. You can get a look at it in the main pic above.

Microsoft says: “You’ll notice a neutral colour palette, softer window corners, refreshed tabs in the ribbon, and colourful presence indicators so you can easily see who’s working on a document with you. App themes will stay in sync with your Windows light or dark mode by default. Updated apps include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Project, Publisher, and Visio.”

Other new Office 2021 features

The advanced grammar suggestions, love ’em or hate ’em, are on the way adding blue lines beneath your perfectly constructed sentences, while PowerPoint’s presentation coach arrives too. You’ll be able to “modernise your formulas in Excel” and “record PowerPoint presentations with ease”, Microsoft says.

Office 2021 price and release date

Office Home and Student 2021 costs from £119.99/$149.99 USD for a single-use licence that includes staples like Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel, OneNote and the Teams communication app.

It’ll run on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 as well as the three most recent versions of macOS. It’s out on October 5.

Ultimately, though, it’d rather you used Microsoft 365. Here’s the full pitch from today’s blog post: “Microsoft 365 is the best way to get access to the latest apps and features that help you stay productive, protected, and connected. Plus, it’s the best value—in addition to premium versions of the Office apps, you get 1 TB of cloud storage, the ability to use the apps on all your devices, advanced security features, and much more. However, we know some customers still prefer a non-subscription version of the core Office apps for PC and Mac, which is why we’re releasing Office 2021.”

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