Office 2019: Features & pricing

© Microsoft

Microsoft has now released Office 2019 for commercial users, with consumer versions set to be released in the coming weeks.

The latest version houses new versions of programs in its popular on-premise productivity suite including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Publisher.

And while Microsoft's cloud Office suite is available, this release is geared towards those business customers who aren't ready to adopt the cloud-based Office 365 yet.

The latest version is the ninth to be released for Windows since Microsoft unveiled the inaugural software in 1990 and the first version to come out since Office 2016 hit the market in September 2015.

Office 2019: New features

Office 2019 includes new perpetual versions - where the license is purchased outright and effectively has no expiry date - of all the Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Skype for Business and server products including Exchange, SharePoint and also Skype for Business.

Read next: G Suite vs Office 365 - What's the best office suite for business?

Office 2019 naturally includes new capabilities geared towards customers who want to keep apps and servers on-premise.

As Microsoft's general manager for Office Jared Spataro explained in a blog post: "Office 2019 is a valuable update for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. And each time we release a new on-premises version of Office, customers ask us if this will be our last. We’re pleased to confirm that we’re committed to another on-premises release in the future."

"While the cloud offers real benefits in productivity, security, and total cost of ownership, we recognize that each customer is at a different point in their adoption of cloud services.

"We see the on-premises version of Office as an important part of our commitment to give customers the flexibility they need to move to the cloud at their own pace."

What's new?

So, while Office 2019 will come with the 'classic' programs like Word and Excel, it also houses Publisher 2019, Access 2019, Project 2019 and Visio 2019. Although Mac users won't receive all of these.

PowerPoint 2019 will come with new features including Morph and Zoom, these should add more cinematic design to presentations, as well as pressure sensitivity, and tilt effects added for Surface users.

While Excel remains somewhat untouched, you should expect some enhancements in formulas and charts, as well as the ability to publish from Excel to PowerBI.

'Learning Tools' have been added to Word 2019 which includes a read-aloud feature and 'Focus Mode' to put your content in the centre of the page and block out any distractions.

Microsoft also reported that it has 'enhanced security and streamlined administration', which essentially means its Click-to-Run feature - which has been part of the suite since its 2013 edition - is now on on-premises versions of Office meaning you'll save the time required to install Office, ideal for businesses running on multiple machines.

A full list of updates can be found it Microsoft's frequently asked questions, here.

Microsoft has also confirmed that it will release Exchange Server 2019, Skype for Business Server 2019, SharePoint Server 2019 and Project Server 2019 in a few weeks times.

Office 2019 support

The biggest news that Microsoft has revealed on Office 2019 thus far is that the software suite will only run on Windows 10.

Read next: Windows 10 for business: Pros and cons for enterprise users

Microsoft has also cut the period of time in which it provides extended support for customers. Previous versions of Office came with five years of standard support and five years of extended support. The total term has been cut from 10 years to seven.

As the company explained in a statement published in February: "Microsoft Office 2019 will provide five years of mainstream support with two years of extended support as an exception to the 10-year Fixed Lifecycle Policy term. This seven-year term will align with the support period for Microsoft Office 2016."

How much will Office 2019 cost?

While it is only on general release for commercial users right now, it should cost businesses $249,99 for Office Home & Business editions.

It is also available for Office 365 subscribers. A one-year subscription to the service currently costs $8.25 per user per month for Office 365 Business or $12.50 for Office 365 Business Premium.

Buy and find out more here.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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