Microsoft has released Office 2019 for Windows and Mac. This is the first big update to Microsoft Office since the 2016 version, and it brings lots of big changes for those who prefer downloaded software. Sure, the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 subscribers have enjoyed app and feature updates throughout the last several years, but Office has always been the company's flagship business software. [Read related article: Microsoft Office 365: Best New Business Features]
Office 2019 is a perpetual offering. That means businesses pay a one-time fee and have access to the new features and updates as they are released. Microsoft said in a press release that this model, while a departure from the subscription-based Office 365 plans it's been pushing, is designed for businesses that aren't yet ready for the cloud.
"Office 2019 will be a valuable upgrade for customers who feel that they need to keep some or all of their apps on servers on-premises," the company said in a press release.
While Office 2019 is the official, perpetual rollout of the software, Office 365 subscribers will also have access to these features as they're introduced. Previewers can enjoy new Excel features, a new OneNote for Windows 10, and other IT and security features.
Microsoft is pushing improved inking features across apps, including roaming pencil case capabilities to PowerPoint. This allows users to move objects using their pen or write directly on slides.PowerPoint will support new inking features, like enhanced pressure sensitivity and tilt effects. Credit: Microsoft
There's also a host of IT and deployment updates, such as enhanced Click-to-Run technology, monthly security updates and reduced network consumption. Here's a full list of features by program.
- Excel: Businesses can take advantage of new Excel functions, Power Pivot and Power Query enhancements, and 2D maps. Users can also publish from Excel to Power BI in the Office 2019 version.
- Outlook: Microsoft has updated contact cards, support @ mentions within Outlook and introduce focused inbox features.
- Word: Word have a new black theme, sounds integrated into Office 2019, learning tools and text-to-speech features. There are various accessibility and usability improvements.
- PowerPoint: Microsoft added enhanced zoom capabilities, the ability to manage 3D images within the program and enhanced roaming pencil case features.
- OneNote: OneNote is arguably got the biggest update. Microsoft said in a separate release that it combines OneNote 2016's best features with Windows 10 usability. These features include ink-to-text, improved syncing and an enhanced user experience.
If you're running a business on an Office 365 subscription, your apps are updated with the new features as they're released, so you don't have to worry about the official rollout. The update is designed for businesses and consumers that haven't opted into Microsoft Office 365 service with monthly feature updates. The first companies to get access to Office 2019 are those that pay for commercial volume licenses, followed by consumer and other business customers.