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Are you eagerly anticipating the release of Microsoft Office 2019? You aren’t alone. Plenty of others are waiting with bated breath to see what sorts of features will be packed into this brand new version.
As expected, Microsoft has remained pretty tight-lipped about what we can expect to see in regards to Office 2019 features. But, that hasn’t slowed us down.
Despite Microsoft keeping their cards pretty close to the chest, we’ve done some digging through the rumor mill to figure out what features are likely to crop up in this new Office update.
When will Office 2019 be released?
First things first, when can you get your own greedy paws on the newest version of Office? Microsoft has yet to announce an official release date. However, they have mentioned that they’re planning on the second half of 2018.
Office 2016 was released toward the end of September, so you could speculate that Office 2019 will be released around that same time. But, there’s really no way to know for sure when you’ll be able to get your hands on the latest update.
Commercial, volume-licensing customers can preview Office 2019 before official launch thanks to Microsoft’s Commercial Preview program. To be eligible for the preview, your business needs to be registered with Microsoft Collaborate.
Office 2019 vs. Office 365: What’s the difference?
While Microsoft has stayed relatively quiet about the specifics of what people can expect in the new Office 2019, they have teased a few features.
Many of those features are already offered in Office 365, which has led to some confusion amongst customers: What exactly is the difference between Office 2019 and Office 365?
Here’s the main difference: Office 2019 is a one-time purchase, and you won’t receive any feature updates after you buy it. Of course, you’ll still get standard security and quality updates—but you won’t see any new tools or functionality added. You’ll need to be using Windows 10 as your operating system in order to run Office 2019.
In contrast, Office 355 is a subscription-based service. Unlike Office 2019, Office 365 is powered by Microsoft cloud and thus includes more collaborative and up-to-date features than Microsoft’s perpetual software does.
Microsoft has channeled much of its recent energy and attention into Office 365 in the cloud, however, they also recognized that not everybody was willing and ready to make that switch.
“Most of our cloud-powered innovation is coming to Office 365 and Microsoft 365,” explains Microsoft in their FAQs about the Office 2019 preview, “However, we know that this is a journey for some customers who cannot move to the cloud in the near term. We want to support all our customers in their journey to the cloud.”
Again, many of the features we can expect from Office 2019 are likely already offered via Office 365. But, this perpetual software update is a good way for users who aren’t ready to move to the cloud to get access to the new tools and functionality.
What’s new: Office 2019 features we’ll likely see
Again, it’s tough to speculate exactly what we should anticipate seeing in the brand new Office 2019, especially when features in preview or beta mode don't always end up in the final product. But, Microsoft has piqued users’ interests by teasing a few interesting features—which we’re breaking down for you below.
1. Advanced presentation features
While PowerPoint is still one of the most popular and commonly-used presentation solutions available, there are plenty of others who view it as dated—particularly with more tech-savvy options like Prezi available.
In order to stay relevant, Microsoft has announced plans to incorporate more advanced presentation features in Office 2019. These include things like enhanced Morph and Zoom capabilities to help you create a more sophisticated and dynamic presentation.
Those features are already included in Office 365 ProPlus, but are not available to people who are currently operating with Office 2016.
2. More powerful data analysis
When it comes to data management and analysis, Excel still reigns supreme. Office plans to kick things up a notch in the 2019 version of the software.
Customers should expect even more powerful features, such as new formulas, new charts (like funnel charts and 2D maps), the ability to publish from Excel to Power BI (Microsoft’s own business analytics service), and enhancements for PowerPivot and PowerQuery.
Needless to say, if Excel is your undeniable favorite of the Microsoft Office suite, the anticipated 2019 features will probably have you bursting into your happy dance.
3. Improved inking features
Those who use Microsoft Surface devices are probably already big fans of the digital pen that allow them to draw, note, and doodle directly onto their device’s screen.
Office 2019 will introduce all new inking capabilities across all apps—such as pressure sensitivity, tilt effects that adjust the ink’s thickness depending on the angle of the pen, and even a roaming pencil case, which allows users to store and organize their favorite pens, pencils, and highlighters to roam with them across their different devices.
4. Easier email management
Finally, if you’re an Outlook user, the release of Office 2019 shouldn’t leave you out in the cold. Microsoft has teased several new features to take some of the hassle and headaches out of email management.
According to Microsoft, these include things like:
- Updated contact cards
- Office 365 Groups
- Focused inbox
- Travel package cards
Microsoft is hopeful that these additions will help users manage their email far more efficiently and effectively.
Get geared up for Office 2019
Packed with features for the end user, Office 2019 doesn’t skimp on value for the IT side either.
“We introduced Click-to-Run (C2R), a modern deployment technology, in Office 2013, and it's now used to deploy and update Office across hundreds of millions of devices worldwide,” Microsoft explains in a release, “With Office 2019, we're moving the perpetual versions of Office to C2R exclusively so IT can take advantage of modern deployment technology to reduce costs and improve security.”
While we still need to eagerly await the announcement of an official release date, there’s plenty to be excited about with Office 2019—including plenty of new (and, in many cases, frequently-requested) features.
If you want to dig in even more and find out how you can leverage Microsoft Office? Check out all of our different Microsoft Office courses. Rest assured, we’ll jump right on updating those (as well as this article!) once the new Office 2019 features are officially announced.
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