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New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription


macrumors newbie
May 10, 2019
I am quite pleased to see some sense is coming back. I am one that uses the programs once in awhile, I simply do not want, nor need a subscription. I would hope adobe would pick up on this, but I will not hold my breath.


macrumors member
May 14, 2015
For anyone with basic office needs, and who doesnt want cloud based, don’t forget about LibreOffice, and on iOS CollaboraOffice. I have been using these for a while and am very happy with them - although I’m not tied to Microsoft Office or Google Due to work etc.


macrumors newbie
Aug 20, 2018
Surprised nobody in the comments has guessed that the non-subscription version will be missing features vs the subscription version. In other words, non-sub will be a basic package and subscription will provide 100% functionality.
And don't forget what Microsoft tend to do with 'fixed' versions. They don't have an upgrade path to the next version when released, and cut off support quite quickly. Office 365 2016 is now unsupported with security updates.


macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2009
I could probably get away with not using Word, but I use Excel every day. The current spreadsheet I am working with has 19 tabs and is quite complex. Excel does this better than anything else I have found.

I am in a similar boat. I have a spreadsheet with lots of tabs that is the data source for a dashboard display, and it is enough hassle trying to be sure everything works when I send it out to be filled in; there is no need to add the possibility that a "compatible file" produced by some otehr software will introduce a glitch. For me, subscribing, evene if I generally avoid subscription softwrae, is well worth it. If it saves me 1 hour of troubleshooting it's paid for a year's subscription.
As a bonus, I have a family plan (it was cheaper with a discount I get than a single user subscription) which lets a family member who doesn't get Offcie from work or school use it and get 1TB of cloud storage.
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macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
There is a subscription free version available. So it’s no ‘news’ for everyone.
Nevertheless: MS becomes reasonable, congrats.
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macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2018
Maybe they can update the product and make it look professional and stop crashing. that would be a feature set.


macrumors 68010
Feb 10, 2019
If Microsoft releases it as completely free be worried. You’re going to pay for this someway so either paying upfront, paying with a subscription, or paying with your data. Sometimes it’s a combination of those.


macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2004
Perth, Australia
I tested briefly the new version of Outlook this morning, it looks great but has one major flaw for users like myself who have delegate access to multiple accounts - these don’t seem to function currently in the new version. I hope this is going to be fixed prior to release or I’ll have to be a laggard 😱


macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2018
Victoria, British Columbia
I welcome this and hope other subscription based applications/suites do this in the future. Even if they don't receive new features as often, a one-time payment release from time to time would be appreciated. But they don't want to harm the business model they've built.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2013
St. Augustine, FL
I reluctantly got the 365 subscription but now that I did I really don't mind. Will be nice to just pay once but I use every thing except outlook pretty regularly. Would like to see some reduction in subscriptions for TV/Movie apps. I need to add up all I'm paying for and see what the total is. I'm pretty sure it's out of control!!


macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2009
I’m curious why everyone is treating this like it’s new. Because it’s not and hasn’t been for years. They already have a standalone version of Office you can buy for $150.It just only has Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and doesn’t have Outlook or the 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
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macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2020
I could careless that Microsoft Office will offer a "perpetual license"
I left them in the dust for LibreOffice and OnlyOffice and I have no intent of turning back.
My reasoning for two separate programs? I like to keep my personal and college work separated. College stuff uses .docx, .pptx, .xlsx, while personal stuff uses .odt, .ods, .odp. I'm happy with my new Microsoft free setup. Microsoft will never get my money.


macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2005
I sure wish Adobe would read this article.

People complain they hate paying subscriptions and would rather buy perpetual? Office 365 Home is $100/yr for 6 people. Less than $20/yr. per person. You get the latest versions AND 1TB of OneDrive storage. In 5 years, you've spent $100 and probably have a newer version! To BUY your perpetual license is >$200 and you're stuck with that version and you get no cloud storage. That's 10 years of subscriptions.

Now Adobe...people want to complain about MS? $20/yr for a suite of apps and cloud storage, vs $13-15/mo for Acrobat. 1 app. No cloud storage. Acrobat is the biggest rip-off of consumers EVER. The PDF format is a univeral format that everyone uses, but Adobe feels you should pay $180/yr to manipulate them. Crazy. And you want to buy Acrobat? $300. Stupid.
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macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2008
This isn't a change. You can also get Office 2019 has a non-subscription version. They're simply not releasing non-subscription versions every single year (they weren't before either).
They stopped offering Office 2019 as part of the HUP and were only offering Office 365. That was a big impact for me ($19.95 one time vs $69.99 annually). My work migrated to Office 365. But at home, I just stayed on Office 2019 to avoid paying an annual fee.

To me it looks like other businesses did not move to Office 365 and they were worried they might end up cannibalizing Windows sales if entire companies migrated to G suite and potentially ChromeOS.
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macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2012
Is it just me or does it feel like most of the world has moved to Google Docs and Sheets? I haven’t opened Microsoft Office in years.


Apr 29, 2008
Upstate NY
I’m curious why everyone is treating this like it’s new. Because it’s not and hasn’t been for years. They already have a standalone version of Office you can buy for $150.It just only has Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and doesn’t have Outlook or the 1 TB of OneDrive storage.

I assume based on the announcement that the 2021 release will be a 365 package, not just an "Office Home & Student" stand-alone like what is offered now.

Regardless, I'll gladly pay $150 again (and you can usually find it on sale too) for just Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Easily worth the money. Even if you use them for just 2 years, that's $6.25 per month.

Some might say, well, at $6.25 per month, why not just subscribe for $6.99 per month and get 365? Well honestly, OneNote, Access and Publisher just aren't as valuable for most people. Outlook as a standalone inbox isn't really needed today unless you're a company, as you can just make a personal outlook account over at OneDrive and Skype are nice, but again, are situational as not everyone needs or wants them.


macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
Prescott Valley, AZ
I’m curious why everyone is treating this like it’s new. Because it’s not and hasn’t been for years. They already have a standalone version of Office you can buy for $150.It just only has Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and doesn’t have Outlook or the 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
Probably because tech bloggers had been floating the idea that the previous version of Office with a perpetual license was going to be the last.


macrumors 68000
Nov 3, 2004
it is about time, I dislike subscriptions and stoped using Microsoft, I would rather just buy the program for a one-time payment.
About time for what? You can buy Office for a one-time payment **today**. This is about Microsoft's plans going forward.
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