Microsoft Confirms Office 2019

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has confirmed it will sell another standalone edition of the Office suite for people who don't want an annual subscription. It will receive updates, but only for an unspecified period.

Despite the name, Office 2019 will come out in the second half of next year. It's described by Microsoft as both a "perpetual release" and a "perpetual update", which is a somewhat unwieldy way to distinguish it from Office 365. (Source:

Office 365 is a subscription model in which users get continuous updates for as long as they pay either a monthly or annual subscription, but when they stop subscribing they get limited access to the software for a brief period, after which it stops working completely other than as a way to view documents.

Office 2019 For Single User Only

In contrast, Office 2019 is the more traditional model in which users pay a one-off fee (which isn't yet specified) and can use the software forever. Historically buyers of standalone Office have only received security updates. Office 2019 will work more like older versions of Windows in that it will get occasional batches of new features, but only for a limited time.

One other difference is that Office 2019 can only be installed on a single computer at a time. In contrast a basic Office 365 subscription allows use on one computer, one tablet and one phone simultaneously, while a more expensive subscription allows for five users, each running a computer, tablet and phone.

Office 2019 will include the core applications of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word, along with the business edition of Skype and the Exchange and SharePoint tools.

Excel Gets Biggest Boost

At the moment Microsoft hasn't announced any killer features that make an upgrade from earlier standalone editions of MS Office a must. There will be some new animation tools in PowerPoint, as well as additional support across the applications for styluses and digital pens.

The most interesting additions are for Excel, though they may appeal more to dedicated users. One tool will let users mark fields as being of a particular type of data (such as company name or city) and automatically pull in relevant information (such as current stock price or population). There will also be an "Insight" tool that automatically examines a set of data and produces charts to show interesting patterns or trends. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you use the standalone edition of Office or subscribe to Office 365? Would the proposed features be enough for you to upgrade? Do you expect Microsoft to ever switch to subscriptions being the only option?

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Dennis Faas's picture

Everything is heading to "the cloud" and annual subscriptions are (and have already) replaced most yearly "major updates" to programs. That said, most people don't want to pay for something if it still works - even if it has massive security issues. Windows XP is a good example of that.

david.e.buehler_6628's picture

I only recently switched to Office 365 with the purchase of a new machine. So I cannot comment on that other than the perpetual cost. Since I do need Access it makes somewhat more sense. I have it installed on only one machine at the time being but will probably convert it to my laptop as well and may include it on a tablet or smart phone since I have the 5 User option. Till now I have utilized the stand alone version and been quite happy. The desktop unit I replaced still had Office 2007 and I was running that quite happily. I am not a power user of any of the tool but I use them extensively. I believe the ultimate goal of Microsoft is to go to the subscription based software as it is better for their business model where they are continually developing new features that many folks do not use. So the projection for users needing upgrades probably shows a decline. But going to subscription you have a far more reliable income stream and you know how to fund your development efforts.

ecash's picture

Iv always gone to the free versions of Equal software..
And found little difference.

My problem is simple.. a Cheap simple copy that does NOT include Expanded features..
MOSt people dont need the extra features in the programs..
Writing a letter should be simple.
Making a basic spread sheet should be easy..

The Worst part of all this is swapping between programs, and the controls in each.
1 simple feature not included.. Or 1 program does things in a different or easier way..

nospam_5346's picture

I've always considered subscription software to be extortion because you often don't have a choice. It is paying for something forever without ever actually owning it (and yes I know you never really "own" software).

I try to only buy standalone applications.

LouisianaJoe's picture

LibreOffice does everything that I need and it is free and it can handle Microsoft Office file formats.