Un­for­tu­nately, the ac­tual price of Of­fice 2019 will have to wait.

PCWorld (USA) - - Contents - BY MARK HACH­MAN

Microsoft would re­ally like you to sign up for one of its pro­duc­tiv­ity sub­scrip­tions: Of­fice 365, or bet­ter yet, the new Microsoft 365 ( go.pc­ But for those old fo­gies who pre­fer stand­alone soft­ware, Microsoft an­nounced Of­fice 2019 on Tues­day.

Of­fice 2019 will ship in the sec­ond half of 2018, Microsoft said, with a pre­view version sched­uled for mid-2018. The Of­fice 2019 suite will in­clude the stan­dard com­ple­ment of

Of­fice apps: Word, Ex­cel, Pow­erpoint, Out­look, plus server apps like Ex­change, Share­point, and Skype for Busi­ness. Pre­sum­ably, Microsoft will of­fer dif­fer­ent ver­sions of Of­fice 2019 (in­clud­ing a version for the Apple Mac), but ex­ec­u­tives didn’t say.

Microsoft calls Of­fice 2019 a suite of “per­pet­ual” apps, be­cause cus­tomers will pay for them with a one-time fee, rather than a re­cur­ring sub­scrip­tion. (Microsoft did not announce a price for Of­fice 2019, though Amazon sells a sin­gle copy of Microsoft Home & Busi­ness ( go.pc­ for $210.) Microsoft would pre­fer cus­tomers to sign up for Of­fice 365 in­stead, which en­cour­ages cus­tomers to pay for Of­fice on a monthly or an­nual ba­sis, with new fea­tures and patches ar­riv­ing reg­u­larly. With Of­fice 365, you’ll pay more, but the pay­ment will be spread out over a longer pe­riod of time: Microsoft’s Of­fice 365 Home costs $100 per year, for ex­am­ple.

Own­ing a per­pet­ual li­cense to, say, Word, is enough for some. Ba­sic func­tions like spell-check­ing don’t change much from year to year. But Microsoft pe­ri­od­i­cally adds new fea­tures to the ver­sions of the Of­fice apps that ship with Of­fice 365. Of­fice 2019 will add these new fea­tures—in­clud­ing im­proved ink­ing, data anal­y­sis for Ex­cel, Morph and Zoom tran­si­tions for Pow­erpoint, and more— but they’ll be more like a snap­shot in time. Af­ter some fu­ture cut-off date, Microsoft will stop adding fea­tures.

Microsoft pro­vides an­other ad­van­tage to Of­fice 365 sub­scribers: Even if a cus­tomer buys a $70 Per­sonal sub­scrip­tion, that li­cense is technically avail­able to more than one de­vice: one PC, one tablet, and one phone. Of­fice 2019 can be in­stalled only on a sin­gle PC. That’s im­por­tant, as users who don’t have a valid Of­fice li­cense in­stalled on a de­vice can only view, not edit, doc­u­ments.

Microsoft said, how­ever, that the com­pany re­al­izes that not ev­ery cus­tomer wants to move to the cloud. “Of­fice 2019 will be a valu­able up­grade for cus­tomers who feel that they need to keep some or all of their apps and servers on-premises, and we look for­ward to shar­ing more de­tails about the re­lease in the com­ing months,” Jared Spataro, the gen­eral man­ager of Of­fice, wrote in a blog post ( go.pc­ that was re­leased dur­ing Microsoft Ig­nite, the com­pany’s con­fer­ence for busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als in Or­lando, Florida.

What this means for you: It’s no se­cret that Microsoft would like you to view Microsoft Of­fice as a util­ity bill--a ne­ces­sity that you need to budget and pay for, year af­ter year. Many, many fea­tures within Of­fice, how­ever, are de­signed for a par­tic­u­lar set of users, and go un­used oth­er­wise. There’s re­ally no right an­swer: If you’d like all the lat­est Of­fice fea­tures, you’ll prob­a­bly want to sub­scribe to Of­fice 365. But if you’re pretty sure that the ba­sic Of­fice apps will cut it, maybe Of­fice 2019 is for you.

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