In a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange Server, Microsoft has slipped in a single line that’s bound to make those who hate paying subscription fees for Office apps happy. “Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021,” the tech giant’s Exchange team wrote (as spotted by Windows Central), confirming that a new version of Office you can purchase with a one-time payment is coming next year.
The company has been pushing Microsoft 365 for years now as the main way to get its Office apps. This subscription-based version of its suite gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps for a monthly payment. While you can use some of those apps for free online with a Microsoft account, you won’t be able to install them on your PC like you’d be able to if you pay for a subscription.
If you’d rather pay just once for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, you can still get Office 2019 for $150. However, it remained unclear for quite some time if it would be the last perpetual release and if Microsoft would transition to a subscription-only model for the Office suite. Thankfully, that won’t be the case — at least for the immediate future. Microsoft didn’t reveal anything else about the upcoming perpetual release other than it’s coming out next year, but it promised to announce more details about its pricing and availability “later.”