Something to look forward to: Microsoft may be putting most of its Office-related development resources into its cloud-based Office 365 suite, but it hasn't given up on standalone versions of the productivity software. According to a Microsoft Exchange Team blog post, a new version of Office's "perpetual" version is indeed in the works.
The Exchange Team didn't go into many details about the new Office release, unfortunately. In fact, they only mentioned it in a single line, which reads as follows: "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021."
So, there you have it. Standalone Office is finally back after a lengthy hiatus -- the last version of the software to release was Office 2019, which actually came out around this time in 2018.
It's unclear what new features we can expect to see in Office 2021 (or perhaps 2022), but we wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft pulls a few ideas from Office 365. Even so, standalone versions of Office will never be as up-to-date as their live counterparts, but that's something plenty of customers will probably be willing to live with.
Swapping constant feature updates for reliable, 24/7 offline document access is a pretty fair trade, all things considered.
We're not sure how much the new version of Office will cost, but we'll be sure to update you when Microsoft releases more information about it.