Apparently, this is a big week for productivity suites. On Tuesday, Apple unveiled major updates to iWork, and we end the week with a Microsoft announcement for its suite of apps that include Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Teams, and Word.
On October 5, Microsoft will release the non-subscription version of Office 365. The Home and Student version is $150, while the Home and Business version is $250 and also includes Outlook and, according to the Microsoft 365 blog, “rights to use the apps for business purposes.” The subscription suite, Microsoft 365 Personal, is $7 per month or $70 per year, while the Family version (for up to six people) costs $10 per month and $100 per year.
To make Office 2021 even more enticing, Microsoft has updated the suite so that it has features that were previously exclusive to Microsoft 365. Along with the new features previously announced, you’ll also get:
- XLOOKUP, dynamic arrays, and the XMATCH function in Excel
- Immersive Reader advanced color support and natural-sounding voices with Read Aloud in Word
- The ability to make an animated GIF from a slide show in PowerPoint
- Performance improvements in all apps
Microsoft also revealed that the collaboration features that are in Microsoft 365 are now available in Office 2021, so you can now perform “real-time” co-authoring of documents. Also, Microsoft is now including its Teams video conferencing app, which wasn’t in previous versions. the only requirement is that your Mac is running one of the three most recent versions of macOS, but Microsoft notes that OneDrive is needed to use the collaboration features. Each account gets 5GB of free OneDrive storage, with the option to subscribe to a 100GB OneDrive plan for $2/month for Office 2021 users. Microsoft 365 subscribers get 1TB of storage per user.