Microsoft has announced that it will release a new, flat-priced version of its Office productivity software sometime in 2021.
The multi tech company has for several years been moving away from the perpetual licensing model in favor of subscription services.
The announcement was made in a blog post earlier this week outlining the latest releases of Microsoft’s Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server and Project Server tools ,“Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021.”
Microsoft hasn’t said anything about pricing at this stage, but the most recent perpetual version of the software, Office 2019, starts at $149 for the most basic version.
A perpetual version is one where the software is purchased with an upfront payment, often as part of a volume licensing deal, as opposed to being rented by paying monthly subscription fees.
With the perpetual license, users have the right to run that software for as long as they wish, even after Microsoft stops providing security updates. It can be installed only on one personal computer, however, and is tied to a single device rather than to the user.
That used to be the way Microsoft sold all of its software, but in recent years it has transitioned to a subscription model. Microsoft has pushed Microsoft 365, a package that provides access to Office apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and others in exchange for a monthly payment. Its plans start at $5 per user per month for the most basic package.