Office 2019 Releasing Later this Year Only for Windows 10 Users
Good news for people who were waiting for the next version of Microsoft Office suite! Microsoft has officially announced that the next Office version i.e. Office 2019 will be released later this year, in the second half of 2018. The preview builds of Office 2019 will start releasing to testers from second quarter of 2018.
Office 2019 will contain apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. It'll also contain Skype for business. There are no clear details available whether Office 2019 will contain other apps like Access, OneNote and Publisher. It might be possible that Microsoft doesn't add these apps to Office 2019 to replace these apps with their UWP app versions.
Office 2019 will be released exclusively only for Windows 10 operating system which means Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users will not be able to install Office 2019 in their computer systems.
According to Microsoft, Office 2019 will be supported only on Windows 10 SAC (Semi-Annual Channel) release, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) 2018 and the next LTSC release of Windows Server operating system.
One important thing to note is that Office 2019 will be released with Click-to-Run (C2R) installation technology only which means there will be no MSI installer available for Office 2019 suite. So you'll need to use Internet connection to download and install Office 2019 suite in your computer systems. You'll not get any standalone offline installer for Office 2019 suite.
MSI installer will be available for Office server products only.
Office 2019 will also come with a different support period. Previous Office versions used to come with 5 years of standard support and 5 years of extended support but Office 2019 will come with reduced extended support period. Office 2019 will provide 5 years of mainstream support and only 2 years of extended support. So it'll be supported for 7 years only. This change to the previous fixed life cycle policy has been done to align Office 2019 support with the support period of Office 2016. So Office 2019's extended support will end on October 14, 2025.
It seems that Office 2019 might be the last licensed version of Office suite and once Office 2019 support ends in 2025, the company will move to Office 365 and Office in the cloud.
What do you think about this move by Microsoft? Is it a good idea to make Office 2019 exclusive to Windows 10 only? There are still many people who are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. It seems Microsoft wants to encourage people for moving on Microsoft 365 product suite which combines Windows 10 and Office 365.