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Microsoft Office 2019 vs Office 365

A new version of Microsoft Office is on its way and there is a preview ready to download for eligible business customers but with so many options now available, why should you upgrade to MS Office 2019?  What’s new in this version and is there any benefit at all over MS Office 2016 or an Office 365 subscription?

Let’s begin with outlining the major differences between Microsoft Office and Office 365.  To put it in the simplest terms, you ‘buy’ Microsoft Office and you ‘rent’ Office 365. By purchasing Microsoft Office, you are essentially downloading the software onto your PC/servers and there is no expiration date. It is yours to own and run for as long as you wish. New versions of the software are released every few years giving you the option to upgrade to the latest copy with new features and improvements.

An Office 365 subscription is a monthly rental program whereby you access the full suite of Microsoft Office applications via ‘the cloud’ which gives you freedom to use the apps on multiple devices, on the go. Regular updates ensure that you are always using the most up to date version of Office, never having to fork out for a full upgrade to make use of new features and improvements. An Office 365 subscription comes with the valuable benefit of an extensive suite of new apps such as Teams, Planner, Yammer and Forms.

With the development of the new on-premises version of Microsoft Office, MS Office 2019 brings a range of improvements for the 2016 versions of the classics, Word, Excel and PowerPoint and new added features too. According to Chanda Wong of Microsoft: “Updates include new and improved inking features across the apps, like the roaming pencil case, pressure sensitivity, and tilt effects; more powerful data analysis in Excel, like new formulas, new charts, and Power BI integration; and sophisticated presentation features in PowerPoint, like Morph and Zoom.”

Of course, subscribers to Office 365 will also receive these improvements as part of their regular updates but MS Office 2016 users will see a more noticeable difference.

  • Excel: New Excel functions, Power Pivot and Power Query enhancements, and 2D maps. Users can also publish from Excel to Power BI in the MS Office 2019 version.
  • Outlook: Microsoft is going to update contact cards, support @ mentions within Outlook and introduce focused inbox features.
  • Word: Word will have a new black theme, sounds integrated into MS Office 2019, learning tools and text-to-speech features. There will also be various accessibility and usability improvements.
  • PowerPoint: Microsoft is adding enhanced zoom capabilities, the ability to manage 3D images within the program and enhanced roaming pencil case features.
  • OneNote: OneNote is arguably getting the biggest update. It will combine OneNote 2016’s best features with Windows 10 usability. These features include ink-to-text, improved syncing and an enhanced user experience.

Microsoft recently said in a press release that this new upgrade has been designed for businesses that aren’t yet ready for ‘the cloud’ and feel they need to have their apps downloaded to their on-premises servers. For some business this will be very beneficial, especially those who are not yet ready for cloud-based computing.

However, the 2019 version has had a significant price increase (10%), which is likely to be a way for Microsoft to push users away from their one-time fee versions and towards their Office 365 subscriptions.  As Chanda Wong states, the new version will incorporate ‘an easy upgrade path to Office 365 Pro Plus’ and ‘Office 365 ProPlus delivers continuous cloud-powered innovation for increased productivity, better security, and the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership).’

In short, if you do not require cloud-based computing software and only need the basics of Office then stick to 2016.  If you want the most up to date version or if you are using MS Office 2010 which will reach end of life in 2020 then MS Office 2019 is the obvious upgrade for you. However, if you are looking for an extended and more cost-effective service, automatic upgrades and access to the full range of apps then you should seriously be considering an Office 365 subscription.

Once you have decided on the most suitable Microsoft upgrade option for you then let us help you implement the migration.  We will ensure your staff are all up to speed on the changes and new apps as quickly as possible and therefore reducing downtime in the office.

Call us on 0333 344 6630 or email

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