Next Version of Office ‘Office 2019’ Coming Mid-2018

Microsoft to deliver perpetual client of Office 2019, as well as SharePoint, Exchange, and Skype for Business Servers, by second half 2018.

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The next perpetual update for Office, called as "Office 2019" is scheduled to release in the second half of 2018, announced Microsoft at the Ignite in Orlando.

This non-subscription version of Office, which is refered as "perpetual" client release will include perpetual versions of the Office apps including: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Along side, Microsoft will also ship new on-premises releases of servers, including: SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, and Skype for Business.

Microsoft also noted, it's starting to migrate Skype for Business Online users to new AI-powered Microsoft Teams.

Previews of these new products will start shipping mid-year 2018.

Office 2019 is aimed to target those who aren't yet ready for the cloud, as it will add new user and IT capabilities, for example improved inking for more natural working with feature like, "pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay."

There will also be data analysis like new formulas and charts for Excel. And, the new visual animation features in PowerPoint, such as Morph and Zoom will add more polish to presentations.

On the Server side enhancements, Microsoft will be adding updates for more efficient IT manageability, usability, voice, and security.

As, moving to the cloud is a journey with many considerations along the way, Microsoft's Office general manager Jared Spataro noted, the "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."

Anyone using perpetual Office apps and clients won't get all the features at the time they are available to Office 365 ProPlus users, but they will continue to be able to use Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business services, Spataro said. Some features in Office, such as the PowerPoint Designer technologies, for instance, will only work with the subscription version of Office because they require back-end cloud connectivity, he noted.

Spataro further said, the company will share more details about the release in the next few months.