Earlier this week, screenshots of what appeared to be a preview version of Office 2024 were leaked on the X account (formerly Twitter) of Windows enthusiast “techosaurusrex”. Now there is a new story with several leaked screenshots of the software package and word that it is currently in active testing internally at Microsoft.
XDA reports that Office 2024 is available on Microsoft’s DevMain testing branch, which is designed for company employees to check out upcoming software products. The same article also lays out a way for anyone else to access the DevMain version of Office 2024. However, it requires more than a bit of technical knowledge and two third-party open source projects, so we wouldn’t recommend you to go this route unless you absolutely want to access this preview build.
The report says that this particular internal build of Office 2024 is not much different from the latest stand-alone version, Office 2021. It is likely that new features will be added before it is available for a public preview and then a final release .
Many people thought that when Office 2021 launched two years ago, it would be the last standalone Office product that Microsoft would release in favor of a subscription cloud-based business model. In fact, in October 2022, Microsoft announced that it was rebranding its Office apps and services under the Microsoft 365 brand.
However, it seems that these leaks, if accurate, show that Microsoft will continue to offer a one-time purchase option for its Office apps with the new Office 2024 release. This development is likely to be a big help to business and education users who might want to buy a one-time license for Microsoft’s Office apps instead of getting them through a Microsoft 365 cloud-based subscription service. It’s possible the company could confirm this move next week as part of its Ignite conference.