More Office 2019, Microsoft 365 ‘latest version’ confusion

It’s hard enough for people to keep straight what is the latest version of Microsoft Office without some web sites getting it horribly wrong.

The current Microsoft Office products are confusing, no doubt about it.  Microsoft keeps changing their product names, policies and features.  Microsoft’s ‘fixed’ support policy is written in a light pencil that can be erased and rewritten at Redmond’s whim. 

Don’t feel stupid about this, we’ve seen Microsoft executives get confused.  A level of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) is a long-standing part of Microsoft’s marketing strategy.

Adding to the confusion is this gem from a technology web site that Office Watch reader Penny J from Edinburgh forwarded …

As a courtesy, we won’t name the author or site.

There’s so much wrong with those two sentences it’s hard to know where to start.

“Office 365 and Microsoft 365” are the same thing.  Office 365 was the name for the annual fee ‘subscription’ version of Microsoft Office.  It’s now called ‘Microsoft 365’, from 21 April 2020.

 “subscribers always have the latest version of Microsoft Office -currently Office 2019” – WRONG, wrong, wrong. 

Microsoft 365 software (was Office 365) is different from Office 2019.

“… Office 2019 without a subscription.”  – the only way to buy Office 2019 is a single payment or ‘perpetual licence’ bundle. There is no subscription option for Office 2019.

What’s the latest version of Microsoft Office I can buy?

There are two current or latest releases of Microsoft Office, depending on how you want to pay for the software.

Microsoft 365 / Office 365

The annual fee ‘subscription’ version of Office software.  New and changed features are added almost every month. 

It also includes ‘cloud connected’ services like Excel live Stock prices, online Editor etc that are not available in other versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.

If you want the ‘latest’ Microsoft Office software with new features, then a Microsoft 365 plan is the way to go.

Office 2019

The single payment version of Office software. Microsoft calls it the ‘perpetual licence’ Office release.  

There are no new features added, just bug fixes and security updates.

The ‘fixed’ support period for Office 2019 was deliberately reduced by three years.

Office 2019 is the ‘latest’ or ‘current’ perpetual/single payment Microsoft Office, but it doesn’t have the new or updated features available with a Microsoft 365 plan.

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