Buy Office 2016 later this year and get two licenses?

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Based on past experience, Microsoft may offer a ‘free upgrade’ from Office 2016 to Office 2019.  Here’s how you might be able to take advantage and get two Office licenses for two computers. An interesting idea from Office Watch regular ‘Ron S.’.

All this makes some assumptions, so it’s NOT confirmed, just something to think about.

Office 2019 is the ‘perpetual license’ fixed feature version of Microsoft Office.  Microsoft will release it later this year but the date hasn’t been announced.   It’s expected to sell as a license for one computer, as is Office 2016 perpetual license.

Buy Office 2016 get Office 2019 later

Here’s how the switchover to Office 2019 may work, if Microsoft follows past practice:

  • Anyone who buys Office 2016 perpetual license in the few months before Office 2019 get a free upgrade.
    • Microsoft does this to stop Office sales dropping in the months before a new version.
    • The dates this will apply to are NOT known yet.
  • People who get the free upgrade may get a second product key (the 25 character unlock code) to enable Office 2019.

Office 2016 Product Key still works!

The originally purchased product key for Office 2016 could still work.

That means you could run Office 2019 on one computer and Office 2016 on another, for the price of a single licence.  There’ll be feature differences between the two versions but documents will be compatible.

The Office 2013 to Office 2016 experience

All this is based on past experience. Microsoft has always offered some type of ‘overlap’ offer to cover customers who bought older software just before a new version arrived.

The exact details and dates vary across the world.

For the Office 2013 to Office 2016 changeover, the offer included a separate Product Key for Office 2016.  If Microsoft does the same thing again, savvy customers will be able to take advantage.

Two Big Ifs

There are two big maybe’s that you’ll have to wait and see …

  • Microsoft may not have a changeover offer for Office 2016 purchasers.
    • Redmond wants people to buy Office 365 with annual payments and is gradually degrading what’s available with the single-payment ‘perpetual licence’ Office. One example of this is the reduction of their standard 10 year support to only seven years for Office 2019.
    • Dropping the free upgrade for later purchasers could be another element in that strategy.
  • A second Product Key might not be offered.
    • We were surprised that Microsoft issued second Product Keys for Office 2013 to Office 2016. They could have told entitled customers to use their original Product Key, having enabled the key to unlock Office 2016 as well.
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