Microsoft has released a preview version of Office 2021 for Mac. This version of Office for Mac is non subscription based, unlike Office 365, which requires monthly or annual payments. However, despite the benefit of a one-time payment, Office 2021 for Mac comes with many drawbacks.
Office 2021 for Mac coming soon with Apple Silicon support
The biggest drawback is that this perpetual version of Office 2021 for Mac will not receive any feature updates. Although the first release of Office 2021 will have new features, compared to its predecessor, it will not receive any of the ongoing feature updates that Office 365 users get. During the preview, Microsoft will continue to add new features, which would include the following:
- Line Focus, which removes distractions so that you can move through a Word document line by line.
- XLOOKUP function, to help you find things in a table or range by row in an Excel worksheet.
- Dynamic array support in Excel, including new functions that make use of dynamic arrays.
- Record a slide show with narration in PowerPoint.
Once the release goes public, that is when the feature additions and updates will come to an end.
Since this is a non-subscription-based version of Office, users miss out on many features like online storage, regular feature updates, iPhone and iPad apps, and much more. However, if you work in an environment where Internet updates for apps are blocked, for whatever reason, this copy of Office is for you.
Microsoft’s system requirements for Office 2021 for Mac say that users should have at least 4GB RAM and 10GB disk space on their Mac. Office 2021 will also support Apple Silicon and Intel Macs upon release.
You can download the preview version here and the Volume License Serializer package here which needs to be run to activate Office 2021. During the preview phase, Microsoft will release monthly updates.