Microsoft Office 2021 and Office 2019 are the two latest versions of the one-time office software from Microsoft. Office 2021 was released after Office 2019, and although the changes are not as significant, there are several new features and improvements in Office 2021 over Office 2019:
Improvements in Excel:
Lambda functions: Office 2021 includes a new functionality - lambda functions, which allow users to create their own custom functions without having to write macros.
Improvements in Outlook:
New search experience: Outlook 2021 provides an improved experience for searching and filtering emails and calendar events.
Updated visual styles:
Office 2021 offers some updates to visual styles and themes, which may include some changes to the user interface of Office applications.
Office 2021 may perform better on some devices and systems, which may improve overall performance when using Office applications.
Support for new operating systems:
Office 2021 provides support for the latest operating systems, including Windows 11.
As with Office 2019, Office 2021 will receive regular security updates to protect against known threats.
Despite these improvements, it should be noted that Office 2021 does not provide as wide a variety of features and functionality as Office 365 (Microsoft 365), which includes more regular updates and access to cloud services. If cloud capabilities and functionality associated with cloud services are important to you, you may want to consider Microsoft 365 as an alternative.
Microsoft Office 2021, 2019 and 365 are different versions of office software from Microsoft and they have some differences.
Licensing model and subscription:
Microsoft Office 2021: Office 2021 is a one-time license for installation on one computer or device. Once purchased, you only have access to current versions of the apps (no automatic updates), and you will need to purchase updates to get new versions.
Microsoft Office 2019: This is also a one-time license, but released earlier than Office 2021. Essentially, Office 2019 is the predecessor to Office 2021.
Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365): This is a subscription that provides access to all Office applications, cloud services, and regular updates. You pay monthly or annually for use and have access to the latest versions of Office, as well as cloud services such as OneDrive, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
Updates and new features:
Microsoft Office 2021: Receives limited updates and features compared to Microsoft 365. It does not receive new features or improvements upon release, except for security updates.
Microsoft Office 2019: Also receives no new features upon release and is limited in capabilities compared to Office 365 and even Office 2021.
Microsoft 365: Receives regular updates with new features and improvements. Microsoft 365 users always have the latest versions of Office apps.
Cloud services and collaboration:
Microsoft Office 2021 and 2019: These versions do not include access to Microsoft cloud services such as OneDrive or support the collaboration-intensive nature of Microsoft 365.
Microsoft 365: Includes access to cloud services that let you collaborate on documents and store files in the cloud, making collaboration and file sharing more convenient.
Support and Compatibility:
Microsoft Office 2021: Designed for Windows 10 and newer versions, as well as macOS. It supports operating systems earlier than Office 365.
Microsoft Office 2019: Supports the same operating systems as Office 2021.
Microsoft 365: Provides broader support for operating systems and devices, including mobile devices.
The choice between these versions depends on your needs. If you need access to the latest versions of Office applications and value cloud services and collaboration, then Microsoft 365 may be a better option. If you're happy with the static version and don't need frequent updates, Office 2021 or 2019 may be a good one-time purchase.