Office 2019 is set to become the latest in a long line of one-time license options from Microsoft. Even if you’re not ready to adopt Office 365, this new edition of Office has plenty to get excited about.

Microsoft Office 2019

While there is a great deal of discussion in the technology community around Microsoft Office 365 and migration strategies, it’s important to note that Microsoft continues to provide perpetual versions that offer a great deal of the same functionality found in the cloud-based versions. Microsoft Office 2019 is the latest in the long line of offerings from the software giant, and it is currently set to debut in the second half of 2018.  If your business isn’t quite ready to make the jump to the cloud, this latest edition of Microsoft’s flagship offering provides you with more natural work options and new capabilities that may make upgrading an attractive option for your business.

Perpetual License versus Office 365

Microsoft Office essentially comes in two “flavors”: a perpetual license that could be considered a traditional option and the newer Office 365 cloud-based application suite.  The key difference is the licensing model.  With the perpetual model, you pay for the software one time and everything is paid upfront with no functional expiration date.  You only gain access to the Office suite on one computer, which may or may not fit the way your employees work.  Office 365 allows you to pay a much smaller monthly fee that provides you with access to the software that is controlled from the cloud.  You may also receive cloud storage via OneDrive and additional functionality such as Office apps for tablets, the ability to install the software on up to 5 computers and Skype access.  This model offers additional sharing options that are severely limited when you select the perpetual license editions of Office.  Office 365 allows users to receive updates when new functionality is provided, too.  However, if you discontinue your payments to Microsoft for the software, you will immediately lose access to the software.  Long-term, it’s highly likely that Microsoft will completely phase out perpetual versions of the popular software.

Why Upgrade to Office 365?

There are a variety of reasons to take the plunge and upgrade to Office 365, including easy update schedules, more attractive pricing and better collaboration.  However, Microsoft acknowledges that not everyone is ready to move to the cloud, which can be especially challenging for enterprises with a massive install base.  While the suite generally looks similar to current versions of the perpetually-licensed software, there are some fundamental differences with deployment, security, and installation.  For this reason, corporate clients have been slower to adopt the cloud editions, but more organizations are moving in that direction on a regular basis.  While small to mid-size business leaders may feel that their current edition is paid for and see no reason to make a switch, there are some valuable tools that Office 365 brings to the table.  Today’s workers often need to be mobile in order to gain efficiencies, and businesses are more open than ever to non-traditional workflows.  It’s not uncommon for one knowledge worker to use their laptop, tablet and mobile phone to access and edit the same document — nearly impossible if you’re only using the perpetual licensing model for Office.

New for 2019

While it’s called Office 2019, technically this version of the software platforms will release in mid- to late-2018, with beta versions coming even sooner.  While the feature set has not yet been fully revealed, Microsoft has provided a few hints of what may be found in the newest versions. Many of the features are thought to be additions that are currently in the Office 365 versions of the software, which technically doesn’t make them “new” features at all.  These include the Ink replay in Word and PowerPoint’s Morph functionality.  Windows Ink provides users with the ability to write on their documents just as you would on physical paper, and it integrates tightly with a variety of Microsoft platforms such as Word, Edge, Maps, PowerPoint and OneNote.  With the Ink editor, you’re able to create powerful replays of drawings that can really illustrate your concepts.

PowerPoint’s Morph truly takes slide transitions to the next level, and while relatively simple, it is a fun way to integrate additional color, movement, and interest to your boring PowerPoint presentation.  This feature has been available in Office 365 for quite some time, but perpetual license users have had to wait to get their hands on it.  What’s even better is that Morph is easy to use as you simply create a beginning slide, make a duplicate and then apply the morph feature to make an interesting transition.  You can adjust the motion, size, color, and shape of objects to create a variety of different looks — all with great impact to help tell your story.

While the details are still dark about the full functionality of Office 2019, it does appear that perpetual license buyers will receive some new features.  Want to learn more about upgrading your New England organization to the latest perpetual version of Office or transitioning to Office 365?

Contact Vertical IT today at (888) 505--8215 or via email to info@verticalitcorp.com.  Our professionals will help you analyze your business to determine the right option for your teams and particular situation.

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