Office 2019 in preview and other news

Microsoft is now previewing the next version of Office for perpetual licence/one-time payment customers.  The changes in how Office is sold and updated mean this isn’t the big news it once was. We have info on what’s in Office 2019, release date and reduced support.

Most people now buy Office as a ‘subscription’ or annual payment.  Office software is updated regularly with new features.  They are NOT affected by ‘Office 2019’ and it appears that the current ‘Office 2016 for Windows with Office 365’ will be renamed ‘Office 365 for Windows’ or Office 365 for Mac.

Microsoft Office 2019 is for customers who prefer to pay a fixed price for a fixed feature product.   As we predicted months ago, Microsoft is torn between putting enough in Office 2019 to encourage sales but not so much that it’s better than the annual payment Office 365 option (which is more profitable for Microsoft).

Office 2019 gets some Office 365 features

For current Office 365 users, Office 2019 has no surprises.  The ‘new’ features are already in Office 2016 with Office 365.

There are more ink/draw features though some of the promised extras like pressure sensitivity depend on the digital pen and hardware.

For example, the ‘new’ charts in Excel 2019 like funnel, waterfall charts and 2D maps,

Source: Microsoft

PowerPoint Zoom which nests multiple slides will be added to Office 2019.

Click to Run

Office 2019 will mostly be installed via ‘Click to Run’ (CTR) technology that’s been used by Office 2013/2016.  In short, a small install file is downloaded which then gets the necessary files to setup the full program.  CTR should mean more seamless security and bug patches.

Reduced Support with changed excuse

Office 2019 gets less support than previous versions of Office.  Instead of Microsoft own promised 10 years of support, Office 2019 customers receive 5 years of full (mainstream) support and only 2 years of reduced (extended) support.

Originally Microsoft said this was to “align with the support period for Office 2016” which made no sense.

Now they give a longer, but no more credible, excuse.

“Because older software is difficult to secure, it is inherently less productive. As the pace of change speeds up, it is more imperative than ever to move our software to a more modern cadence. By adopting a model of 5+2 years of support, Office 2019 will help reduce this exposure. ”

It’s hard to know where to start with this nonsense. The difficulty in keeping older software secure is both Microsoft’s fault and responsibility.  The link between software security and productivity is tenuous at best.

The reality is that Microsoft wants to discourage sales of Office 2019.  Reducing the support time is just another step towards that goal.  The bonus for Microsoft is the cost saving from not having to update and test Office 2019 for three years.

Which products?

Office 2019 will have Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Project, and Visio.  OneNote is also listed but it’s already been given a termination date and the OneNote app is preferred.

Windows 10 only

As already announced. Office 2019 is only for Windows 10.  Windows 7 or v 8 users need not apply.

When is Office 2019 going public?

Microsoft is only saying ‘second half of 2018’.  No prices have been announced but it’s likely to be around the same as Office 2016 perpetual license.

Office 2019 Preview

There’s a Commercial Preview for Office 2019 aimed at volume customers who are the main prospects for Office 2019.

See the Office 2019 FAQ for a few more details.