On October 5, 2021, Microsoft Office 2021 was released. This is the most recent version of Microsoft's 30-year-old productivity suite.
Depending on your needs, there are 4 different editions of the product:
- Microsoft Office 2021 Home and Student (PC & Mac)
- Microsoft Office 2021 Home and Business (PC & Mac)
- Microsoft Office 2021 Professional
- Microsoft Office LTSC 2021
If you just want a standard software suite to serve your jobs and study, Microsoft Office 2021 Home and Student is what I recommend. Therefore, in this article, we will take a close look at MS Office 2021 H&S including its new features, software, price and some related questions.
What's New in Office 2021 Home & Student?
Although Office 2021 might look the same as its previous versions, this latest package offers a wide range of new features. In this section, you will find out about those exciting features.
1. Integration with Microsoft Teams
If you love video calls and direct messages, this new feature is a plus. Microsoft Teams' chat and video features are integrated with Office 2021. Directly from within Office, you'll be able to communicate and participate in Teams video calls.
Teams is already a part of Windows 11, but with Office 2021, this new feature will also work on Windows 10 and macOS.
2. Real-time Co-authoring
This new feature allows you to work on the same document simultaneously with your colleagues or classmates. Everyone on the shared document will get notifications when the file is updated.
The fact that real-time co-authoring is available in MS Office 2021 is a significant upgrade because you can’t find the same experience in the previous versions. For instance, the real-time co-authoring capability in Microsoft Office 2019 is only available in Word; it is not available in Excel or PowerPoint. With MS Office 2021 Home and Student, real-time co-authoring is finally available in all three apps, as long as the documents you're working on are stored in Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service.
3. Fresh User Experience
Microsoft decided to release Office 2021 on the same day as Windows 11 was made generally available for a reason. As you can see in the image above, all Office 2021’s editions, including MS Office 2021 H&B, got neutral color palettes, softer window corners, and refreshed tabs in the ribbons. By default, app themes will stay in sync with your Windows light or dark mode.
This visual update was intentionally aligned with the availability of Windows 11 to provide a coherent and seamless experience on the new Windows 11 PC. And don’t worry if you use Windows 10, because this update also works on this Windows version.
4. Other new features
Microsoft 365 subscribers might find MS Office 2021’s new features familiar. Because you now can also experience those previously exclusive features of Microsoft 365 when using Office 2021 Home and Student.
- Excel now is modernized with several new functions such as XLOOKUP function can help you find anything in a table or range by row, LET function can simplify complex formulas by giving names to calculation results, or XMATCH function can search the position of an item in a list. Additionally, dynamic array formulas help you write one formula and return an array of values to neighbouring cells. Finally, Sheet views let you create customized views in a shared worksheet.
- You can now record your PowerPoint presentation or even a single slide, as well as capture voice, ink gestures and laser pointer recording using the New and improved Record Slide Show in 2021 PowerPoint.
You can look at this Microsoft blog post for full detail of all new features in MS Office 2021.
What Microsoft Office Apps Are Included in Office 2021 Home and Student?
Since MS Office 2021 H&S is the most basic variant of the Office 2021 package, it only offers the core Office applications and it is mainly intended for families, individuals and students use. We will go through these apps in this section.
1. Microsoft Word 2021
The word processing software you love to use for your essays, assignments and other documents is back, and this time it's even better. The program has been enhanced with exciting new features that make writing more cohesive, regardless of your purposes - whether school work or home tasks!
New features in Word 2021:
- Dark mode to reduce eye strain
- Improved grammar checkers
- Natural-sounding text-to-speech voices
- Modern commenting
- Make a website out of a document
2. Microsoft Excel 2021
Microsoft Excel 2021 is the most comprehensive and easy-to-use spreadsheet application in today's market. With Excel, daily tasks of storing, calculating and analyzing data are easier than ever.
New features in Excel 2021:
- Several new functions
- Customized sheet view
- Stability improvements
- Improved digital inking
3. Microsoft PowerPoint 2021
PowerPoint 2021 is perfect for you to create and share your engaging presentations. With improvements made by Microsoft themselves as well as new features being added, your creativity will now be on the next level.
New features in PowerPoint 2021:
- Several new templates
- New transitions and tools
- Expanded Office library for scalable vectors, 3D models and more
- Updated digital pencil case and inking features
Price and Availability
MS Office 2021 Home and Student costs $156.95 and doesn’t come with the ability to use the software for commercial purposes.
You can buy MS Office 2021 H&S either directly from the Microsoft stores or from a third-party store. Bear in mind that Microsoft is very strict with its terms so you might rarely find any discounts from its stores. If you’re on a tight budget and want a bargain price for this product, go for third-party stores, such as ITFactory, because they often have offers on special occasions.
Microsoft Office 2021 Home and Student edition is a bundle of the iconic Microsoft Office 2021. This MS Office 2021 H&S includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which can help you to be more productive in your jobs and study.
Q. Is Microsoft Home and Student just for students?
A. Office 2021 Home and Student is for students, teachers and families who want classic Office apps including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This is a one-time purchase installed for only 1 device (PC or macOS).
Q: What is the difference between Office 2021 Home and Student vs Office 2021 Home and Business?
A: MS Office 2021 H&S includes only core applications, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but Office 2021 Home and Business will have these core apps plus Outlook. And you can’t use Office 2021 Home and Student for commercial purposes.
Q: Can Office 2021 Home and Student be used for business?
A. You can, but you shouldn’t. Because Microsoft stipulates that Microsoft Office Home and Student "may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities."