All about Office 2019 for Mac the facts, prices and warnings. There’s a matching page about Office 2019 for Windows.
Before you get too excited
Do NOT buy Office 2019 if you have Microsoft 365 plan like Microsoft 365 Family (formerly Home), Microsoft 365 Personal or an enterprise plan. In other words, you pay for Office as an annual fee.
Office 2019 for Mac is NOT like past versions such as Office 2016, Office 2011 etc. It’s NOT a new version intended for all Microsoft Office users.
Anyone on an Microsoft 365 (was Office 365) plan does NOT need Office 2019.
Microsoft 365 ‘subscribers’ have a more advanced version of Microsoft Office already.
Office 365 customers get regular updates of new and improved features, including cloud-based features that are not in Office 2019.
Later in 2021, Office 2019 will be replaced by Office 2021 (for consumers and small businesses) and Office LTSC (volume customers, organizations). At this stage, it’s probably better to wait and buy Office 2021 rather than 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 Microsoft 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 Microsoft 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 Microsoft 365 subscription releases, Office 2019 does not get any feature updates over time.
Who should NOT buy it?
If you have an Microsoft 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 now available to volume licence and commercial customers.
Individual sales of Office 2019 are now available from the usual retailers. Discounts on Office 2019 are rare.
Office 2019 for Mac will have Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote.
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 for Mac software sold to Microsoft 365 customers.
There are no cloud-linked features in 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
- Focus Mode in Word
- Word Translator
- Improved inking functionality
- Customizable Office ribbons
- Accessibility improvements
- Funnel charts and 2D maps
- New Excel functions (CONCAT, TEXTJOIN, IFS, SWITCH)
- Morph transition feature
- Insert and manage Icons, SVG, and 3D models
- Improved roaming pencil case
- 4K video export
- Play in-click sequence in PowerPoint
- Focused inbox
- Office 365 Groups in Outlook * Requires Exchange Online account
- Travel and delivery summary cards
- Send Later to delay or schedule delivery of emails
- Read and delivery receipts
- Email templates
Mac OS requirement
Office for Mac is supported on only two versions of the Mac OS; the current version and the previous version.
That means Office 2019 for Mac is supported on MacOS ‘Catalina’ (2020), ‘Catalina’ (2019) and ‘Mojave’ (2018) .
Apple M1 processor and Office 2019
From December 2020, Office 2019 for Mac supports both the older Intel based Macs and the new M1 machines.
Office 2019 comes as an Universal app which uses the correct apps for the hardware you have. No need to change anything, Office 2019 will handle it all automatically. See Office for Mac now supports M1 chips directly
Office 2019 for Mac gets five years of support. That’s Microsoft’s standard for Mac products.
Will there be future perpetual license Office releases?
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.
They have announced the two replacements for Office 2019.
Office 2021 – for consumers
Office LTSC – a similar product for commercial / volume licence customers.
Running Office 2019 with Office 2016
You cannot install Office 2019 for Mac to run ‘side-by-side’ with Office 2016 or any earlier version of Office for Mac. To run multiple versions of Office for Mac, you’ll need virtual machine software.
The Microsoft Office 2019 FAQ has the official line on Office 2019 using Microsoft’s own brand of corporate speak and weasel words.