Office 2019 is coming, and here’s what you need to know – Microsoft has announced that there will be a successor to Office 2016, the non-subscription version of the application suite, and that the upgrade would ship in about a year.
The bundle, named Office 2019, will be geared to customers, primarily corporate customers, “who aren’t yet ready for the cloud,” according to Microsoft.
But other than that description, Redmond remained vague about Office 2019 as a “perpetual” licence, one that lets the customer run the suite as long as desired without further payments. So, Computerworld collected some of the pressing questions business may have about the suite.
What is a “perpetual” Office? Microsoft categorises software by how it is paid for, discriminating between a license that was bought outright from one that is essentially “rented” because it’s paid for over time, like a subscription.
Most of the time Microsoft uses the term “one-time purchase” to label a software licence that is paid for with a “single, up-front cost to get Office applications for one computer.” The purchase gives the buyer the right to use Office in perpetuity. In other words, the licence has no expiration date, and users may run the suite as long as they want.
When will Microsoft release Office 2019? The company pegged the launch of the suite during the second half of next year.
“This release, scheduled for the second half of 2018, will include perpetual versions of the Office apps … and servers,” wrote Jared Spataro, general manager for Office, in a Tuesday post to a company blog.
Spataro called out “Office 2019” as the nameplate for the application collection.
Any clues about when in the second half of 2018 Microsoft will release Office 2019? None in Microsoft’s announcement. But there are hints enough to take a guess.
In late September 2015, Microsoft offered the Windows edition of Office 2016 to Office 365 customers first, then followed with retail versions. Office 2019 will likely appear around the same time of the year, in that same order.
What will be in Office 2019? Microsoft’s not saying.
The feature set may not be revealed until mid-2018, when Microsoft releases a preview of the suite. For his part, Spataro hinted at some of what will make it into Office 2019, calling out such features as Ink replay in Word and Morph in PowerPoint, which have been available to Office 365 subscribers for one and two years, respectively.
And that’s important to remember.
There’s little to no chance that Office 2019 will include any groundbreaking new features. Why? Because the perpetually-licensed version of the suite is built by taking the accumulated changes since the predecessor appeared — the changes issued to Office 365 subscribers over the past several years.
Will Microsoft sell a one-time purchase version of Office after Office 2019? Good question.
Microsoft isn’t saying. When asked if the company would commit to a follow-up perpetually-licenced edition, a spokeswoman effectively declined to comment.