Office LTSC 2024, which gets you Office without a subscription, is here in preview, but it's probably not for you

Microsoft Office
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Office LTSC 2024 is now available in preview for commercial customers using Windows or macOS.
  • Office LTSC provides access to Office applications, Microsoft Project Professional 2024, and Microsoft Viso Professional 2024.
  • Cloud-based capabilities, such as real-time collaboration, AI automation, and cloud-backed security are not available with Office LTSC 2024.
  • Office LTSC 2024 is intended for devices that need to stay "locked in time" or that cannot receive updates, such as medical equipment or devices on manufacturing floors.

Microsoft Office Long-Term Servicing Channel 2024 (Office LTSC 2024) just entered preview for commercial customers on Windows or macOS. Office LTSC 2024 provides a perpetual license to use Office applications and a variety of other tools without requiring a subscription. This commercial preview gives organizations a chance to test the latest version of Office that will run on a range of specialized devices.

Generally speaking, Office LTSC 2024 is for devices that either cannot or will not receive updates for several years. In many cases, organizations need to set a device up once and then have it run without updates for extended periods of time. Medical equipment, manufacturing floor devices, and regulated machines are among the most common pieces of hardware that run Office LTSC.

Office LTSC 2024 provides access to Office applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also has new features when compared to the previous version of Office LTSC. The new version of Office LTSC has new meeting options in Outlook, several new Excel features, and improved security, performance, and accessibility. Microsoft outlined the new features and improvements in Office LTSC 2024 earlier this year.

Unlike previous versions of Office LTSC, Office LTSC 2024 will not include Microsoft Publisher, which is being retired. Microsoft Teams is not included either, as that is now available to download separately.

Microsoft emphasized several times that Microsoft 365 still provides the best experience for those who need cloud-based features. Real-time collaboration, AI-driven automation in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and cloud-backed security all require Microsoft 365. You also need Microsoft 365 to be able to subscribe to Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365.

Office LTSC 2024 vs Microsoft 365

Office 365 on Razer laptop

(Image credit: Jennifer Young - Windows Central)

If you're looking for the best price for Microsoft 365, there are often deals on the subscription. Office LTSC takes a different approach. Rather than a monthly or annual subscription, Office LTSC provides a perpetual license that receives security updates and is supported for five years. But Office LTSC isn't intended to for cost cutting. Instead, it's designed for devices that need to remain "locked in time" or that can't receive updates for a variety of reasons.

For example, a company likely would not want a medical device to be affected by a software update to an Office application. Office LTSC prevents that from being a risk, since medical devices run embedded apps and need to stay locked in time. Regulated devices that cannot accept feature updates for multiple years also benefit from the setup of Office LTSC.

The version of Office LTSC that's now in preview is for commercial customers, not home use. Microsoft will announce a consumer version of a perpetual office license later this year. Office 2021 is the most recent consumer version of a perpetual Office license.

Microsoft 365 and Office LTSC 2024 don't compete with each other, at least not directly. That's especially true for the commercial version of Office LTSC 2024, which is intended for regulated devices and hardware that won't receive updates or that could be negatively affected by a change in software through an update.

"Microsoft 365 continues to deliver the most secure, productive, and cost-effective Office experience, and positions customers to unlock the transformative power of AI with Microsoft Copilot," explains Microsoft.

"And with device-based licensing and extended offline access, Microsoft 365 offers deployment options for scenarios like computer labs and submarines that require a solution other than a user-based, always-online service. However, Office LTSC 2024 will be a valuable upgrade for customers who need to keep their Office apps on-premises. "

Microsoft 365 is for those who need the latest features, apps, and services from Microsoft and that rely on cloud-based features. Office LTSC 2024 is for a different audience.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at