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Microsoft Office 2024: a new subscription-free version is coming

Microsoft will offer a new subscription-free version of its Office suite later this year, but it will lack certain features

The end of perpetual licenses for Office isn't happening just yet. Microsoft will launch a new version of its Office suite, without a subscription, later this year. This edition, named Office 2024, is aimed at businesses and consumers who prefer not to use a subscription model. Office 2024 will include the latest enhancements for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook on both Mac and PC. More details about the new features will be revealed at the launch, but there are already some anticipated improvements.

Office 2024 subscription-free, but with limitations

The Redmond firm has been sending mixed signals for several years regarding these non-subscription versions. The definitive disappearance of the perpetual license, in favor of the subscription model, has been regularly mentioned since Microsoft shifted towards cloud and AI. Despite the trend among publishers to offer subscription-based software, the American giant has never confirmed the end of perpetual versions for individuals and businesses.

However, Microsoft is doing everything to encourage users to switch to Microsoft 365. The company specifies that Office 2024 will receive numerous improvements, but this version will be limited to bug fixes and security updates. It won't benefit from Microsoft 365's cloud features such as real-time collaboration, AI-based automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, or cloud-supported security and compliance features. Like the current version, Office 2024 is not expected to offer feature updates or advanced functionalities on tablets and phones. Additionally, there won't be extra online storage (1 TB).

Microsoft emphasizes that these subscription-free versions target "specific cases" and businesses with "niche scenarios." Apart from its office suite, Microsoft also encourages subscription for gaming (Xbox Game Pass) and Microsoft even offers a Windows in the cloud Windows 365

Prices and availability

Microsoft has not yet mentioned the release date of Office 2024 for Windows and Mac. However, they specify that this version will be compatible with Windows 10 and will support both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

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