Older versions of MS Office were available as one-off purchases until Microsoft 365 stepped in and introduced the subscription game. You pay every month/year and get all the features and updates. But the company didn’t leave the older model behind and you can still buy Microsoft Office 2021 as a one-time purchase.
Microsoft Office 2021 aka Office Home & Student 2021 came out on October 5, 2021, alongside the official rollout of the Windows 11 operating system. It was expected that Microsoft Office 2019 will be the last version to offer a perpetual model.
It is so because many users have already shifted to the subscription plan. This new announcement means the company is planning to keep the one-time purchase for basic office apps alive, for now.
Microsoft 365 currently includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, OneDrive storage, and other premium stuff. But if you opt for a perpetual model release, you pay only once for the classic Office apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), without the premium ones.
Microsoft Office 2021 Perpetual Model
Microsoft currently calls it the “Office Home & Student 2021” plan and sells it for $149.99. If you’re someone who just wants to buy and use the basic work apps for a couple of years, without any version upgrades, Office 2021 is suitable for you.
It allows you to pay one-time for a version of the Office classic apps. The only catch here is that when the next version is released, let’s say Office 202X, you’ll have to separately purchase it.
Your MS Office 2021 single-PC license will work on Windows 11/10 and macOS. It’s compatible with Teams and comes with a 60-day Microsoft tech support for free.
While it’s okay for light users and students to go with one-time purchases, if you’re a power user and always want to have the latest version at hand, you’ll have to go with Microsoft Office 365.
The Microsoft 365 subscription for $6.99/mo also gets you premium apps like OneNote, Outlook, and 1TB space on OneDrive. There’s also a $9.99/mo family plan that allows up to 6 members to use the services on a single subscription.
That’s it about Office 2021 single-purchase option. If you are looking for other options, you can check out this list of Microsoft Office alternatives.