Office 2019 will replace Office 2016 in Microsoft's productivity suite lineup, and will come loaded with the following software applications:
According to Microsoft, it is continuing to devote resources to standalone Office releases to cater to customers "who can’t be cloud-connected or receive regular updates." Office 2019 will receive a number of features that first arrived for Office 365 including Morph and Zoom for PowerPoint; new data analysis features for Excel and updates to PowerPivot; and enhancements like Read Aloud, Text Spacing, Focus Mode and Focused Inbox for Word and Outlook. All apps receive an improved inking experience for those that use stylus input with touch displays.
While it's nice to see that Microsoft is still catering to an audience that either doesn't want or need Office 365, it cautions that Office 2019 will in essence be a "one and done" release. There will be no additional feature updates provided once it reaches wide availability; customers can only expect to receive regular security updates. If you want to have a continually-updated Office experience, you will have to transition to Office 365.
Microsoft also provided some reassurances on the future of its "on-premise" releases of Office. "Each time we release a new on-premises version of Office, customers ask us if this will be our last," wrote Microsoft. "We’re pleased to confirm that we’re committed to another on-premises release in the future. While the cloud offers real benefits in productivity, security, and total cost of ownership, we recognize that each customer is at a different point in their adoption of cloud services."
While Office 2019 is available today for volume license customers, the company says that it will begin rolling out to all of its remaining customers (including commercial and consumer markets) during the coming weeks.