Office 2019 for Windows – facts, prices and dates


Here’s what we know about the upcoming versions of Office 2019 for Windows.  There’s a matching page about Office 2019 for Mac.

We’ll update this page as new information becomes available.

Before you get too excited

Do NOT buy Office 2019 if you have Office 365 plan like Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal or an enterprise plan.  In other words, you pay for Office as an annual fee.

Office 2019 is NOT like past versions such as Office 2016, Office 2013 etc.  It’s NOT a new version intended for all Microsoft Office users.

Anyone on an Office 365 plan does NOT need Office 2019.

Office 365 ‘subscribers’ have a more advanced version of Microsoft Office already.

Office 2016 for Office 365 customers get regular updates of new and improved features, including cloud-based features that won’t be in Office 2019.

What is Office 2019?

Office 2019 for Windows or Mac are separate versions of Office for anyone who buys the perpetual license.

Perpetual License is what Microsoft calls paying once for the ongoing use of Microsoft Office.  Compared to the ‘subscription’ or annual payment model that Microsoft prefers and has been pushing customers towards.

Office 2019 is for non-subscription customers who want some new features but won’t switch to the regularly updated Office software sold via Office 365.

Microsoft wants all customers to ‘subscribe’ to Office because that’s more profitable for the company with a more regular cash flow. But there are a significant number of corporate users who refuse to pay that way or they don’t want the increasingly cloud connected features of the main Office software sold with Office 365 plans.  See Microsoft’s dirty little secret about Office 2019.

Who should buy it?

Anyone who wants any of the new/changed features in Office 2019 and is prepared to pay once for essentially fixed feature software.

Unlike the Office 365 subscription releases, Office 2019 will not get any feature updates over time.

Who should NOT buy it?

If you have an Office 365 plan do NOT get Office 2019.

Existing Office software for Office 365 users already have all the features in Office 2019 plus a lot more.

When will it be released?

Office 2019 for Windows and Mac are currently in beta testing aka ‘preview’.  No release date has been given but it will be before the end of 2019.

Which products?

Office 2019 for Windows will have Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Project, and Visio.  32-bit and 64-bit software.

OneNote is also listed but the Windows desktop software has already been given death sentence  and the OneNote app is preferred.

Features

According to Microsoft “Office 2019 includes a meaningful subset of features found in Office 365″.   In other words, it has less than the current Office software sold to Office 365 customers.

There are no cloud-linked features in Office 2019. Features like Dictate, Designer and Map Charts which send data to Microsoft’s servers won’t be Office 2019.

Here’s the current feature list from Microsoft which is not complete, but gives a good idea of what’s in and what’s not in Office 2019

Word

  • Black theme
  • Office sounds
  • Learning tools captions and audio descriptions
  • Text to speech
  • Improved inking functionality
  • Accessibility improvements

Excel

  • Funnel charts and 2D maps
  • New Excel functions and connectors
  • Publish Excel to PowerBI
  • PowerPivot enhancements
  • PowerQuery enhancements

PowerPoint

  • Zoom capabilities for ordering of slides within presentations
  • Morph transition feature
  • Insert and manage Icons, SVG, and 3D models
  • Improved roaming pencil case

Outlook

  • Updated contact cards
  • Office 365 Groups (requires Exchange Server)
  • @mentions
  • Focused inbox
  • Travel and delivery summary cards

Windows 10 only

Office 2019 for Windows will only work on Windows 10.

Microsoft can probably give some vague technical reasons for dropping Windows 7 and 8, the real reason is money. Microsoft has always used Office compatibility to push sales of newer Windows.

Click to Run

Office 2019 for Windows will only be available as a ‘Click to Run’ (CTR) install.  The older single-download or .MSI install has been dropped.

Less Support

An important point about Office 2019 for Windows is the lower support entitlement.  Microsoft says that Office 2019 will get ‘quality and security patch updates’ aka bug fixes for less time than the company’s own policy.

Microsoft own ‘fixed’ support policy gives customers five years of ‘mainstream’ support with patches for security and bugs then another five years of ‘extended’ support.

The ‘extended’ support has been shortened to two years instead of five. After 14 October 2025 (not 2028) there’ll be no security patches for Office 2019.

Prices

No prices have been announced for Office 2019 Windows/Mac.

Pricing is likely to be the same or similar to the existing Office 2016 perpetual licence releases.

Will there be future perpetual license Office releases?

Maybe.  Microsoft isn’t giving any promises beyond the usual platitudes about “evaluating customer needs”.

If there’s enough corporate demand, Microsoft will reluctantly release an ‘Office 2022’ or similar.

From Redmond’s marketing and pricing it’s little secret that Microsoft wants all customers to pay annual ‘subscriptions’ and will drop perpetual license Office if possible.

Running Office 2019 with Office 2016

You cannot install Office 2019 to run ‘side-by-side’ with Office 2016 or any earlier version of Office.

If you need multiple versions of Office, it’s much better to use virtual machines – either Hyper/V or VMWare Workstation.  Windows 10 for Microsoft Office users has a chapter with step-by-step instructions on setting up a virtual machine with Microsoft Office.


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