Microsoft has publicly released Office LTSC or Long Term Servicing Channel. It’s the ‘fixed feature’ Office suite for volume licence customers.
It’s a replacement for Office 2019 but only available to business and government customers.
Office 2021 is the personal and small business equivalent which will be out on 5 October, the same day as Windows 11.
We’ve kept track of Office LTSC since it was announced earlier this year. See The good and bad in Office LTSC.
The official list of Office LTSC changes from Microsoft is pitifully short:
- Dynamic Arrays in Excel
- XLOOKUP() in Excel
- Dark mode support
- Line Focus in Word’s Immersive Reader
- Performance improvements
- Accessibility improvements
Support for Office LTSC
Speaking of pitifully short, Office LTSC is half what customers should expect from Microsoft’s ‘fixed’ software lifecycle.
Office LTSC will get only FIVE years of support until September 2026, not the 10 years that Microsoft itself has as a policy.
Office LTSC is 10% more expensive than Office 2019.
Ignoring customer needs
The few new features, reduced support and higher prices is all because Microsoft doesn’t want anyone to buy Office LTSC. The company would be happier if all volume customers signed up for Microsoft 365 annual subscriptions which are far more profitable.
Microsoft ignores customers needs and arrogantly assumes they’ll all move to annual payments. Take these sentences from the Office LTSC release announcement:
“We also know some customers aren’t ready to move to the cloud. “
This assumes there’s something wrong with the customers who don’t want to move to Microsoft’s preferred cloud-based system. According to Microsoft the cloud-resistant customers just “ aren’t ready “. Maybe they will never be ready and for very good reasons.
“While this will not be our last perpetual release, we continue to make investments that make it even easier for customers to adopt Microsoft 365. “
It’s good to hear there will be another perpetual licence version of Office. Microsoft makes it clear they want all customers to move to Microsoft 365 by ‘making it easier’.
Part of that ‘making it easier’ strategy is to make perpetual licence software unappealing and over-priced. That’s why Office LTSC has a higher price for few new features and massively less support.