Microsoft has been on a cloud-first journey ever since Satya Nadella took over the reins of the software behemoth in 2014. Throughout much of that time, the company has managed to transform many of its flagship desktop products such as Windows, Office, Exchange and SharePoint to become Internet services. Office 365, the subscription-based productivity suite is continually updated with new features as soon as they are ready. The suite now has more than 100 million subscribers world wide.
New Standalone Version of Microsoft Office Coming in 2018
This week at its Ignite business conference, Microsoft announced the non-subscription version of Office will be receiving an upgrade later in 2018, called Office 2019. Microsoft released the last perpetual version of the productivity suite in fall 2016, which has become quite dated considering the numerous improvements added to Office 365 since.
The new version of Office, which includes Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, will also be accompanied by new on-premise versions of Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business. In a blog post, Microsoft mentioned some of the features coming in Office 2019 next year:
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. Source
If you are already running Office 365, you already have access to these features. It wouldn’t be surprising if Office 2019 will be just as outdated as 2016 by the time it is released because of a frozen feature set.
That said, Office perpetual releases still remain an important option for organizations that like predictability and the ability to deploy new features and technology at their own pace. Managed environments simply don’t like adding stuff that can break or cause compatibility issues. New features coming to Office 365 have been so rapid, Microsoft had to create an Update History page just for the suite.
Microsoft is expected to provide more details in the coming months. Are you still a perpetual Office user, if so, which versions are you still using?