MS Office is the world’s foremost Office suite. It incorporates MS Word, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel. Microsoft revealed last year that it planned to launch the latest addition to the MS Office suite series, Office 2019, in 2018. However, the company but did not make it clear then what platforms Office 2019 would support.
Most industry analysts might have probably expected the latest office suite to be available for two or three Windows platforms. However, Microsoft recently announced that Office 2019 will only be available on Windows 10.
Releasing MS Office for just one Windows OS is an almost unprecedented move by Microsoft. Yet, the big M has confirmed that Office 2019 compatibility will be restricted to Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel release and Windows 10 Enterprise Long-Term Servicing Channel 2018, as well as upcoming Windows Server LTSC. This effectively means that when Microsoft no longer supports a Windows 10 version, you don’t get any further Office 2019 support (or updates) for that version either.
The big M also confirmed that it will be reducing the extended support period for Office 2019 by three years. MS Office 2019 will still get the usual five years mainstream support. However, beyond that the software publisher is only extending support by a couple of years instead of five.
In addition, Microsoft confirmed Office 2019 will become available in the second half of 2018. However, the company will distribute early Office app previews from quarter two, otherwise April, May and June. Another thing to note about the upcoming suite is that it’s a perpetual Office version, which means that Microsoft is moving away from the subscription-based licensing model of Office 365 for the latest addition to the series.
Aside from that, Microsoft hasn’t revealed a huge amount about the new suite of applications as of yet. However, the general manager for Office has stated:
Office 2019 will add new user and IT capabilities for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. For example, new and improved inking features—like pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay—will allow you to work more naturally. New formulas and charts will make data analysis for Excel more powerful. Visual animation features—like Morph and Zoom—will add polish to PowerPoint presentations. Server enhancements will include updates to IT manageability, usability, voice, and security.
The latest announcement that Office 2019 is an exclusively Windows 10 package probably won’t go down a storm with many Office users who have stuck with Windows 7. Even though Win 10 is running on more than 400 million devices, Windows 7 still retains a substantial user base. The CEO of StatCounter stated, “Windows 7 retains loyalty especially amongst business users.”
So to embrace Office 2019, you’ll have to upgrade to Windows 10 first. Unless Office 2019 is a big enhancement on the previous version, it might not be worth upgrading for many Win 7 users. For further MS Office 2019 details, check out this post.