Not everyone wants to pay a never-ending subscription to use Office, so it's great news that Microsoft will update its desktop Office in 2018. Office 2019 will arrive later this year - but only for Windows 10, Microsoft has confirmed in a blog post.
How much will Office 2019 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 and is available to buy here. 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 (available here), 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 (available here).
The benefits offered by Office 365 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.
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 is the Microsoft Office 2019 release date?
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?
Microsoft has announced two major new tools that will be arriving in the office suite soon: Microsoft Search and Ideas, which are both designed to help workers manage their time and allow them to access documents and information more quickly from their workspace.
What is Microsoft Search and Ideas?
Microsoft search is a build in search tool for Office Users that will allow them to traverse Windows, Office.com, office apps, SharePoint, OneDrive and more. Ideas is essentially a rebranding of some of the intelligent features already built into some office apps.
Microsoft is using AI to make the user experience that much more seamless and smooth. The Microsoft Delve app intelligently surfaces documents that other people in your company have shared using Microsoft Graph.
Simplicity is the name of the game for Microsoft as while their customers have been appreciative of the new features that have been arriving for office, they're also looking for a new way to access these options which is now possible through the newly designed search function.
Ideas replaces 'Design Ideas' previously seen in PowerPoint and can help you design and format your content through the power of AI, which can now also be used across Excel and presumably Word too. Ideas will try and fight different aspects and insights into your data, or design your slide in PowerPoint to make better use of your available content.
For example, a word such as "Idaho" is classed as a geographic data type. The app knows that it's a state, which has a location on a map and will bring up associated data such as population.
Microsoft's security enhancements are still coming thick and fast too, with its Azure Active Directory apps tying into the Microsoft Authenticator, which is a two-factor app for Android or iOS that used a verification code which can be used automatically or manually by the user.