Not everyone wants to pay a never-ending subscription to use Office, so it's great news that Microsoft will update its non-cloud version of Office in 2018. It will be called Office 2019 and here's what we know so far about its release date and features. 

How much will it cost?

At the moment, there is no confirmed price for the new version of Office. The only real yardstick is how much the existing version will set you back.

If you wanted to pick up the full Office suite today, you’d be looking at the single-user Office Home & Student 2016 for PC edition, which costs £119.99. The package contains Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote, but not Outlook, Publisher, Access, Skype, or OneDrive.

For those who want everything, the only option is Office365. Presently this costs £59.99 per year for a one-user license, or you could opt for the monthly fee of £5.99. The five-user variant is a little more, at £79.99 or £7.99 per month.

The benefits offered by Office365 are not only limited to the applications themselves, but also include dedicated tablet and phones apps, 1TB of OneDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype to landline or mobile calls, Microsoft support via telephone or chat, and constant updates to the Office suite.

It really is a very tempting proposition if you use the software for work or just regularly at home.

Buy Office 365 from Microsoft

We expect Office 2019 to be in the same ballpark as the current standalone version, so it’s worth saving up a hundred pounds or so over the next few months.

When will it be available?

Microsoft hasn’t stated a firm release date for Office 2019 yet, but we do know that its due to appear in the second half of 2018. Preview builds will precede the release, with these becoming available in mid 2018.

What new features will be included in Office 2019?

Again, with the announcement still very recent, Microsoft is playing its cards close to its chest in regards to what changes will appear in Office 2019.

The General Manager of Microsoft Office, Jared Sparato, did confirm the following details on the official Office blog;

‘Office 2019 will add new user and IT capabilities for customers who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. For example, new and improved inking features—like pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay—will allow you to work more naturally. New formulas and charts will make data analysis for Excel more powerful. Visual animation features—like Morph and Zoom—will add polish to PowerPoint presentations. Server enhancements will include updates to IT manageability, usability, voice, and security.’

It seems that although Office365 has been the flagship for Microsoft’s productivity suite over the last few years, the company still sees a need to support those who would rather own software rather than rent it.

‘We recognize that moving to the cloud is a journey with many considerations along the way’ Sparato continues. ‘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.’

As these details become more readily available, we’ll be updating this feature. So, be sure to keep checking back to see what Microsoft has in store for one of its most prized assets.