Office 2019: What’s coming?
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.