The main backbone of Microsoft’s products
Microsoft Office 2021 is a powerful office suite that enables you to create files and keep them organized with ease. Developed by Microsoft, this family bundle of client and server software and services is a popular set of productivity programs that offers various tools for whatever task or project you need to do.
As one of the versions under the Microsoft Office suite, Microsoft Office 2021 features new features and optimizations added. It still offers the same pricing plans, which depend on what you need Office for, but this suite is automatically included in the Microsoft 365 service.
Is there a Microsoft Office 2021?
Just like previous versions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office 2021 is a major version release that is the successor to Microsoft Office 2019. It contains all of the core MS Office applications and features: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. There are no new programs included in this suite, aside from these and those additional applications that are exclusive to certain platforms and operating systems. Instead, you get more optimizations with this version.
These adjustments and updates are numerous and only apply to certain MS programs. For one, you can now do real-time co-authoring with other users if you’re working on a shared file—and this is a new feature for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Various new formulas and functions have been added for Excel, such as XLOOKUP and SORTBY. You can now create cool animations for your Ink Object drawing in PowerPoint using the Ink Replay tool. Plus, performance improvements for all core apps have been applied.
Can I use MS Office for free?
Unlike alternatives such as LibreOffice and WPS Office, Microsoft Office 2021 is a paid purchase—although you can try its free 1-month trial for certain editions. There are various versions and licenses of MS Office that you can avail of, depending on the type of work and number of users that will be using it. Most of these are already bundled under the Microsoft 365 subscription, allowing you to renew your license annually and have access to online Microsoft services.
For home and personal use, there’s Microsoft 365 Personal for one PC, Microsoft 365 Family for six PCs, and Office Home & Student 2021 for a one-time purchase. For businesses, there’s Microsoft 365 Business—which is further divided into Basic, Standard, and Premium. There is also an Enterprise edition with Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, and Microsoft 365 F3. Post-secondary schools can also avail of Office 365 Education to connect teachers and students.
However, while the coverage for users is extensive, Microsoft Office 2021 still has some drawbacks. For one, all of the main applications are included in this suite and you can’t select certain ones just because you won’t be using some of them. It doesn’t help that you can’t purchase the programs individually; they’re automatically bundled under Microsoft 365. Another issue is that the customer support for certain editions is only up to 60 days or so.
Still a highly recommended package
All in all, Microsoft Office 2021 features versatile and powerful tools for those who need to be productive—whether at home, work, or in school. While it doesn’t let you choose which specific programs to use, the whole package assures you that in case of sudden circumstances, you’re ready and well-equipped to handle them with the myriad of tools at your disposal.