Of­fice 2019: What’s com­ing?

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Mi­crosoft has al­ready an­nounced that the next stand­alone ver­sion of Of­fice, dubbed Of­fice 2019, will be land­ing in the sec­ond half of this year. But don’t get ex­cited: it’s un­likely to bring any rad­i­cal new fea­tures, in­stead in­tro­duc­ing im­prove­ments Of­fice 365 sub­scribers have al­ready seen in the desk­top ver­sions.

Mi­crosoft has given the clear­est sig­nal yet that Of­fice 2019 will the fi­nal “per­pet­ual li­cence” of Of­fice. By per­pet­ual it means that you pay once and can keep on us­ing the soft­ware for­ever. Here, though, for­ever means un­til Oc­to­ber 2025, which is when Mi­crosoft says its sup­port for the soft­ware will end.

That’s the same day sup­port ends for Of­fice 2016, so it doesn’t take Columbo to work out that this could be one last fling – or thing – for per­pet­ual ver­sions of Of­fice.

Mi­crosoft has also made it clear that it’s gear­ing Of­fice 2019 to cor­po­rate users – con­sumers may not even be able to buy Of­fice 2019, but that’s not con­firmed. And even cor­po­rates may be re­luc­tant to bite as the soft­ware will only be sup­ported on Win­dows 10. There’s no tech­ni­cal rea­son we know of for this, so it ap­pears to be a tac­ti­cal de­ci­sion.

In tan­dem with its de­ci­sion to bar Of­fice 2016 users from con­nect­ing to cloud ser­vices such as Ex­change On­line and OneDrive for Busi­ness af­ter 13 Oc­to­ber 2020, it’s clear that Mi­crosoft wants ev­ery­one to shift to Of­fice 365.

So in an­swer to the ques­tion, “Of­fice 2019: What’s com­ing?”, we’d have to say “not a lot”. From hereon in, it’s 365 or noth­ing.

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