Microsoft reveals Office 2019

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Microsoft reveals Office 2019

Microsoft has revealed that the next version of its standalone productivity software suite will be called Office 2019, and is expected to release next year.

It will include updated, versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the Outlook messaging and calendaring client, Office general manager Jared Spataro said in a blog post coinciding with the vendor's Ignite conference.

"Perpetual" is what Microsoft calls its standalone software package where Office can be installed on a single computer only, and for which the customer pays a licence fee once only.

Microsoft has been trying to shift users off traditional Office towards its cloud-based Office 365, which is paid for using a subscription rather than a one-off payment.

Perpetual software does not expire and cease to work like Office 365 does when users stop paying the subscription charges.

Spataro acknowledged that not all Microsoft customers are ready to move to the cloud, and 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."

Microsoft has introduced some fish-hooks for the perpetual version of Office, however.

In April this year, Microsoft said that starting October 2020, users with perpetual versions of Office will be required to connect to Office 365 services.

Only users with the latest supported version of Office perpetual will be able to connect to Office 365 services, meaning those with older variants of the productivity suite will have to upgrade their software.

Office 2019 will come with new Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business services, which Microsoft said will have better manageability, usability, security and updated voice capabilities.

Spataro provided a glimpse of the new features in Office 2019, which is scheduled for release in the second half of 2018.

Among these are improved "inking" or screen drawing features that include stylus pressure sensitivity, tilt effects and replays.

He also promised new formulae and charting options for the Excel spreadsheet, and animation features for the PowerPoint presentation package.

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