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Microsoft Readying On-Prem Office 2019 for Release Next Year

The next generation of the standalone Microsoft Office suite, called "Office 2019," will arrive in the second half of 2018, Microsoft said this week.

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.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.

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