Microsoft: Office 2019 Is Coming, But Get 365 Instead

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has released Office 2019, but effectively told would-be buyers it's not as good as Office 365. It's a clear attempt to push people towards the subscription model.

In one of the more bizarre publicity drives for a new product, Microsoft gives very little attention to Office 2019 itself. It's the latest (and very possibly last) installment of MS Office as a standalone program to install and run on a computer, something Microsoft now calls the "on-premises" version. (Source:

The package includes the core programs of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word on both Windows and Mac along with specialist tools Access, Project, Publisher and Visio on Windows only. There will also be a new edition of note taking app OneNote though this can run side-by-side with the previous OneNote 2016.

Office 365 'More Secure'

Instead of talking up Office 2019, Microsoft instead puts all the emphasis on promoting the cloud-based Office 365 (specifically the ProPlus edition) as the better option. It says "[Office 365] delivers the most productive and most secure Office experience - with the lowest total cost of ownership for deployment and management." (Source:

On the latter point, the price of Office 2019 hasn't been released so it's hard to compare, though usually which is 'cheaper' depends on the timescale.

It says the only real reason to get Office 2019 is for users who "can't be cloud-connected or receive regular updates" - in other words, those without a reliable Internet connection.

'No Feature Updates To Office 2019'

Microsoft stresses that although Office 2019 has some new features, they are simply a selection of the ones already added to Office 365. It also warns that while Office 365 will continue to get new features, Office 2019 won't get any more feature updates, instead only getting security fixes.

The most substantial change with Office 2019 is more fundamental: it will now work with the Click-to-Run 'deployment technology'. That's aimed more at businesses and is designed to make it simpler to keep a network of computers up to date with updates.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you use Office 365? If not, will you consider upgrading to Office 2019? Should Microsoft bother with future standalone editions of Office?

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Dennis Faas's picture

I don't need to go on the web to publish or edit an MS Word or Excel document, nor do I need to share my documents "in the cloud", so I don't really see the need for Office 365. Besides that, having to pay a subscription fee for the rest of my life doesn't make sense. Office 365 Home costs about $95 a year and supports up to 5 PCs whereas Office 2016 costs about $130 according to Amazon. I'd rather pay once for MS Office and use it one 1 PC even if I have to use remote desktop to share it on my network. I think these sentiments speak for the majority of folks reading this, though surely things would be different for business users.

DavidInMississippi's picture

I have always been a proponent of BUYING software once, and intensely dislike the subscription model. So what if my Office 2013 is "out of date"? As long as it's secure and works, I'm fine waiting 5 or 10 years to upgrade to the next version. And then only if that version gives me new things I actually need.

HOWEVER, I have now converted to Office 365.


Not for the Office apps. Those are a "bonus."

I have the home version of Office 365 (the $99 version) because of (a) 1TB online storage; (b) the ability to install Office apps and OneDrive on desktop, laptop, and tablet with that one account; AND (c) the ability to offer those same two things to four other family members, all for that one subscription price.

If it were just buy Office once every 5+ years, that would be one thing. Hands down buying the stand-alone would win. But comparing the price of 1TB of online storage (Amazon, Google, DropBox,, etc.) would be competitive ... for ONE account. But each of my family members gets their own 1TB of storage, which makes it a winner right there. ALSO, if I had the stand-alone Office purchased for my desktop, then I also wanted to put it on my laptop AND on my tablet, I would have to buy additional licenses for those machines.

So considering all that, for me, today office 365 comes out the winner.

I still detest paying "subscription" fees - an annual obligation. But I swallowed that distaste for these benefits.

jamies's picture

Also consider that the Onedrive is the equivalent of you purchasing 2 drives and using the second as a mirror backup of the first -
as in the cloud storage provider will (OK should) be maintaining a backup of the files you upload so that they can automatically deal with one ( or more?) of their drives failing.

Re the out of date - Yes MS are wise to you not worrying about that - they stop providing maintenance - security gap closing fixes for the software - and then they (and your ISP) stop you even accessing the web - as in IE 7 and outlook express don't work, and you need to update IE7 to get IE8 that is needed to get the fixes for IE7 ... catch 22.

But - yes the consideration of win 10 and office 365 with it's continual updates - or a static and much cheaper in the long term win-7 as a possibility and 2013/2016/2019 office - a real pain whichever decision you make - and I eventually went for the home 365 sub myself.

gi7omy's picture

Personally I'll stick with Libreoffice (on both Windows and Linux). It does everything I need from an office suite.

tom_11363's picture

The trouble with cloud bases programs is that when you travel back in time with your laptop they will not work.

jamies's picture

Agreed at first it seems to simply be a cost vs facilities option.

However as indicated 2019 will be a static not updating version of office -
and - say 5 years life of functionality based on, maybe the June 2018 version of 365.
(There are home and Pro versions of 2016 so probably similar cost spread for 2019)

Then consider - there are several versions of Office
not only the 2016 2019 365 and online .com main version id's but also
- Windows-32, windows-64,
- Apple-Mac ( no macros same as the online - .com and 365 versions )
- Academic, Corporate, with a controllable update/change cycle
- Home, Pro, Pro-plus with uncontrollable updates as and when MS decides to update it's copy of office that it let you allow it to install on your PC.
- online .com versions and the

So - 2016 and 2019 versions will give purchasers a reasonably static working environment for 5 or so years.

365 versions come with frequent changes to their facilities - some disappearing, new ones to learn, and avoid if sharing files with users of other versions - or those just delaying the updates.
And there is the 'enticement' of (OK currently an enticement) of 1TB of cloud storage accessed via the Onedrive App.

So - for me I opted for the home version of 365 - seemed a good deal for 5 users, each with 1TB of Onedrive storage -
matched the cost against a standalone 2016 and some cloud storage for offsite backup and sharing - and took a 5 year subscription.
Then - I found out that the Home version does not include the facilities that were available in 2010 - Power-pivot and BI etc.
Then I found out how limited and badly written the Onedrive App is
OK - I was told the Pro-Plus and business Onedrive version is better
Would have been nice to have had that detailed in the MS pages supposed to help me choose.

Oh! and now I find that after my system restarts following installation of a major update the office appears to be unstable and the system very slow to respond for many hours while the installed software modules get altered to use the newly updated code - Yes maybe 8 hours too 'busy' to update the clock in the bottom right hand corner

So, for 100 GBP/USD/EU
Do you want a single user licence of a stable copy of the minimal version for say 5 years.

A frequently changing (improving?) system for 5 users, with cloud storage for 1 years,
OK - that is the home version.

Or and it seems to be too good to be safe -
A frequently changing (improving?) 365 ProPlus system for 5 users, for 4 years - at least that's what it states at

imallett_8441's picture

I live in a world of 2Mbps downloads, so any cloud based app is useless if my wife is using Facebook at the same time. I can't see a time when I have access to faster internet where I live, so I use Office 2013 and will continue with locally installed software. Before forcing customers to use the cloud, MS should look at the "real" world and how their marketing based decisions affect its users.

jamies's picture

MS does not force you to use the (No macro's and only the specific app filetype files) cloud 365 apps. as in no .csv .txt or other data file usage in etc.

You get a version of 2016 to run on your system as part of the 365 subscription.

What you do also get with the 365 subscription is the new features added to the cloud version on the MS system accessed via your browser, and similar additional features and updates applied to the 2016 instance MS have installed on your PC.

You just need the download capability to get those updates, and the patience to wait for the changes to be fully implemented on your PC.

Oh yes - and real world - seems to be that MS will be ensuring that you will NOT have a desktop facility working mode within the windows OS soon.

jimain's picture

Office 365 still doesn't have all the features of Office 2013, and it suffers from very low response time, in the middle of the day on weekdays for me. I sometimes wait 20 minutes for an excel file to be saved, which I don't have time or patience for. Never used PowerPoint and hate Word, so live without them. However, I use Excel a lot, both at home and when traveling. The cloud for data storage is okay, but I'd rather just carry carrying a thumb drive most the time.

I'm a 365 subscriber because it's easy to share it with my extended family and across devices, No other reasons!

f58tammy's picture

Way back when I remember reading that Microsoft was going to make 365 the only office available in the future. I think were about there, and the 2019 office may be the last stand alone they will be releasing. They will push for the 365 online version to be the only Office available. Then Office 365 won't work with the older platforms of Office or the documents that the older platforms have created.

bluemoonenterprises_12909's picture

I'm in business. I won't put my companies proprietary data and especially not my clients data on some server farm out in the cloud. Microsoft wants to punish me by having fewer be it...I've been disclipining myself and all employees for years for this. We don't use the cloud for anything. Nothing. If it isn't on-premise and resident to our computers, it doesn't belong here. This is what Security is all about. Security isn't invisible people claiming they care, on invisible computers (mirrored) for others to hack, use, abuse, claim control of, whatever. My clients aren't interested in giving us their "secure" passwords to "their servers" because my stuff is in "the cloud". I need resident software...period.

gi7omy's picture

Personally, I have avoided MS Office due to its ever expanding bloat (coupled with 'features' that I will never need or use).

Libre Office can handle MS Office files,does everything I need and,best of all,it's free.