Office 2019, Microsoft’s locally installed office suite, is now available for Windows and Mac, although it is only available through commercial volume licensing as of now. The business and personal versions are expected to be available in the coming weeks.
When it was announced at the IGNITE event last year, Office 2019 was a surprise because we all thought Microsoft would finally go for the cloud-connected version of the office suite, called Office 365. This version has yielded great results in the last three quarters, topping professional cloud services with 100 million active users per month across the commercial versions and another 25 million in terms of data consumption in 2017.
Microsoft wants to cater to businesses and regular users who want locally installed software on their PCs without leaving room for other alternatives like LibreOffice 6. Office 365 works well, but maybe it is not the time to cancel the rest of the versions while the transition to the cloud is not completed yet.
What does Office 2019 provide?
The new version of the most popular office suite on the market is based on the features added to Office 365 ProPlus in the last three years. It also has the security updates and bug fixes released since the launch of Office 2016. Office 2019 features apps for word processing, Word, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, data base, Access, and other tools that make up the office suite like Outlook, Project, Visio and Publisher.
As for the new features, Office 2019 has features on locally installed apps, like Morph and Zoom for PowerPoint, new data analysis tools and PowerPivot enhancements for Excel, Focused Inbox for Outlook and the new Read Aloud and Text Spacing tools for interacting with content on Word. We will publish a special article with novelties when the client version is launched.
As with previous versions, not every app of the suite will be available for the Mac version. Project 2019, Visio 2019, Access 2019 and Publisher 2019 will only be available for Windows. Extra features like OneNote will be available for all users.
Another novelty is that Office 2019 will be exclusive to Windows 10 and the upcoming Windows Server 2019. We ignore the technical reasons for this but we do know the commercial reasons. The decision has a clear effect on Microsoft’s intention to support Windows 10 at all costs, and we have seen this happening with exclusive components that are not part of Windows 7, like DirectX 12, Edge, Cortana, support for last-gen processors, VR devices, Windows Mixed Reality and some others.
The options for the rest of Windows systems are Office 2010, 2013 and 2016 with extended support until 2020, 2023 and 2025, respectively, as well as the cloud-connected version (Office 365) which runs on every system. As for non-Microsoft options, we have Google Docs/Apps and the free LibreOffice 6, of course.
Office 2019 is available for volume license customers, whereas the business and personal versions are expected to be available in the coming weeks. We are also waiting for the launch of professional apps like Exchange Server 2019, Skype for Business Server 2019, SharePoint Server 2019 and Project Server 2019.