Microsoft has announced the availability of Office 2019. If you have active Software Assurance (SA) cover on your Office products, as of the General Availability date of 24th September 2018 then you are entitled to this new release.
Licensing Office 2019 through the Volume Licensing Programs remains the same as Office 2016 Standard and Professional Plus per device licenses. However, it will be about 10% more expensive due to the October price rise.
If you purchase new licenses from now onwards, you will be entitled to use them at the 2019 release even though you might install them at an earlier release, such as Office 2013 or 2016, under downgrade rights.
Office 2019 provides enhancements to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access, and Publisher for customers who can’t be cloud-connected or receive regular updates.
The new enhancements are a subset of a long list of features that have been added to Office 365 ProPlus over the last three years.
Office 2019 is a one-time release and won’t receive future feature updates so we don’t see any point in customers maintaining active Software Assurance (SA) in order to solely receive new releases. (However, there are other benefits of SA such as Roaming Use Rights, and options to acquire a “From SA” USL (User Subscription License) if moving to an Office 365 / Microsoft 365 E3/E5 plan if all your organisation’s Office licenses have active SA.
The announcement page has some useful links to FAQs on both the new features and the new technology to deploy it – Click-to-Run. There’s also confirmation that Exchange Server 2019, Skype for Business Server 2019, SharePoint Server 2019, and Project Server 2019 will be released in the coming weeks.
Microsoft will continue to add new features to Office 365 ProPlus monthly, including innovations in collaboration, artificial intelligence (AI), security, and more.
Microsoft’s focus for Office going forward is Office 365, but they state that “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”.
Microsoft will cease Extended Support for Office 2019 in 2029 so we expect them to be pushing all customers to Office 365 by then.
To discuss the best licensing options to upgrade to Office 2019 or if you are considering making the move to Office 365 please get in touch so we can help you choose the best licensing option for your organisation.
Have a look at our recent blog article about the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2019.