Microsoft is preparing updates to its venerable office suite, including two big features: continued support for the standalone, non-365 version and text prediction.
Microsoft has been aggressively pushing Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) for some time. Many businesses and individuals, however, don’t want to pay a monthly fee to access their office suite. What’s more, the various cloud features of Microsoft 365 may not offer much value for some customers.
The company has announced it will continue to support a standalone version of Office, called Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC). In fact, Microsoft is committed to supporting Office LTSC for the foreseeable future.
“At Microsoft, we believe that the cloud will power the work of the future. Overwhelmingly, our customers are choosing the cloud to empower their people—from frontline workers on the shop floor, to on-the-go sales teams, to remote employees connecting from home,” writes Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365. “We’ve seen incredible cloud adoption across every industry, and we will continue to invest and innovate in the cloud as we partner with organizations everywhere to build the best solutions for the new world of work. But we also know that some customers just feel that they can’t move to the cloud despite the widely embraced benefits.”
A preview of Office LTSC will be available in April.
At the same time, the company is also bringing its long-anticipated text prediction to all users. The company teased text prediction in September. As the user is typing, text prediction recommends the most likely next word. The feature continues to learn over time, becoming more accurate in its recommendations.
According to the Microsoft 365 roadmap, text prediction will be available to all users in March.