Microsoft Announces Office 2019 Coming Next Year
Microsoft this week announced that the next on-prem version of Office will drop in the second half of 2018.
Microsoft announced this new on-premises version of Office during its Ignite conference, taking place this week in Orlando, Fla.
The conference has been heavily focused on Microsoft's cloud-based properties, including Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and, of course, the Azure platform. With the Office 2019 announcement, however, Microsoft is taking a conciliatory tack, acknowledging that while cloud adoption is more common than ever among businesses, there are still many holdouts.
"Cloud-powered innovation is a major theme at Ignite this week. But we recognize that moving to the cloud is a journey with many considerations along the way," wrote Microsoft Office General Manager Jared Spataro in a short blog post Tuesday. "Office 2019 will be a valuable upgrade for customers who feel that they need to keep some or all of their apps and servers on-premises, and we look forward to sharing more details about the release in the coming months."
Unlike Office 365, its subscription-based cloud counterpart, Office 2019 is described by Microsoft as a "perpetual" product. After a preview release slated for mid-2018, Office 2019 will become generally available with all the usual trappings: individual apps such as Word, Excel and Outlook, as well as server editions of SharePoint, Exchange and Skype for Business. (Skype for Business Server is also due to get a version refresh in the fourth quarter of 2018, Microsoft said in an Ignite talk on Monday.)
According to Spataro, new features coming to Office 2019 include:
- Improvements to the inking feature, including "pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay."
- Better data analysis capabilities in Excel, such as new charts and formulas.
- Added animation features in PowerPoint.
- Improvements related to security, IT management, voice recognition and usability in the server products.