Microsoft has announced a new version of Office for release in the second half of next year.
Here’s what we know and what we don’t about the ‘year away’ Microsoft Office.
One-time or perpetual licence only
This Office bundle is for one-time or perpetual licence buyers of Office only.
People and organizations using the Office 365 releases with regular updates will continue to get them on a different time-frame.
Microsoft’s early announcement is intended to reassure organizations that there will be versions of Office and server systems available for those who are resisting the considerable pressure to move to the cloud.
What’s in it?
Very little detail on what will be in Office 2019. Broadly it will include a selection of features that have been or will be available to Office 365 customers.
Office: Inking features–like pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay–will allow you to work more naturally.
Excel: New formulas and charts
PowerPoint: Visual animation features, Morph and Zoom
Nothing specific about Word or Outlook but there’s sure to be new features added to those programs.
Access and Visio don’t even get mentioned.
With such a long lead-time it’s likely that even Microsoft isn’t 100% sure what they’ll include in Office 2019.
With the desktop programs will be server versions of Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business which, like Office 2019, will include some of the features available in the Microsoft hosted server systems.
No mention of prices for Office 2019 or it’s server kin. Most likely it will be like the current Office perpetual license prices with no upgrade discount for current Office 2016 customers.
Office 365 users are more profitable for Microsoft. Microsoft’s aim is to encourage all Office users to the annual or monthly fee model – what they call ‘subscription’.
Microsoft Cloud Arrogance
Redmond’s push to the cloud sometimes gets outright arrogant and dismissive of customers who don’t conform.
According to Microsoft, Office 2019 is “for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud“.
Which assumes that customers will ever be ready for the cloud or haven’t already made a reasonable decision to keep most or all of their data off Microsoft’s service.
Windows or Mac?
The presumption is that we’re talking about Office for Windows but the Microsoft blog post is notable for NOT saying that. Most likely that’s an oversight or an example of the Office teams long-standing affliction – ‘Mac blindness’.