If you want to buy a new Office package, you are spoilt for choice: With Office 365 and Office 2019, Microsoft offers two different office suites – many dealers also offer Office 2016. But what is Office 2019 and what makes it different from the manufacturer’s other office programs? Microsoft itself is causing confusion by advertising the Office version in commercials in the subscription model and making the purchase version look old. But is Office 2019 really as bad as Microsoft claims? COMPUTER BUILD has installed Office 2019 and started looking for the differences for you.
Office 2019: The costs
Since the beginning of October 2018, Office Home & Student 2019 and Office Home & Business 2019 can be purchased in the German Microsoft Store. The software giant charges 149 euros for the Home & Student version, while the larger Office package costs 299 euros. In free trade, however, the licenses are also available at much lower prices. At Amazon you can navigate to this website, for example, to obtain Office Home & Student 2019 aktuell (February 2019) for less than 90 euros and the Home & Business version for just under 180 euros.
If you want to try Office 2019 before buying, you can download the new Office package free of charge from COMPUTER BILD. After all, the trial version lets Microsoft put you through your paces for five days before it refuses to work without a license key.
Office 2019: What’s in it?
The “smaller” version allows the installation of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on a PC or Mac and is exclusively licensed for private use. Home & Business can also be used for business, Microsoft also adds Outlook, but that’s it. There is a lack of lavish OneDrive cloud storage and licenses for mobile phones and tablets. These and other extras are reserved for the Office 365 subscription version.
No Office Update for Windows 7 and 8.1
However, users who still use Windows 7 or 8.1 have a bad hand. Office 2019 is only compatible with Windows 10. Those interested in Office will have to accept further compromises when supporting the Office suite: Instead of the previous ten years, the manufacturer will in future only be supplying updates for the version for seven years. Of these, the so-called main support will run for about five years, followed by two years with “extended support”, with only important security updates. The manufacturer is already dating the end of support to October 14, 2025. If you follow the usual office cycle, it can be assumed that a new purchase version will be released at the end of 2021 – possibly Office 2022.
Office 2019: This is behind the Office update
Compared to Office 2016, Office 2019 has some useful innovations to offer, but they are more to be found in the details. It is important to know that Microsoft has not reinvented its office programs for Office 2019. The Group is only developing new functions exclusively for the Office 365 subscription version. The 2019 Office version is therefore basically Office 2016 plus the functions that were released for Office 365 between 2016 and 2018.
Office 2019: Innovations
Word, for example, is now equipped with a dictation function (Microsoft Dictate), a translation and research tool. If you wish, Word can also read your text to you (voice output). In addition, the text processing program comes with a black design (dark mode) and improved release functions for collaborative editing of a document in real time.
The latter also applies to other Office applications such as Excel or PowerPoint. Cross-referencing within a document has also become easier and spell checking has been improved. The latter displays grammar rules and synonyms for suggested corrections as needed. Excel professionals, on the other hand, can look forward to richer charts, more powerful data analysis capabilities, and new formulas. New chart types include funnel charts, timelines, and 2D maps.
The latter can be used, for example, to visualize geographic data. In addition, new functions such as “Text Chains”, “Text Chain” or “First Value” have been added. Even when it comes to feeding the spreadsheet with data, Excel 2019 offers more options and now accepts content from virtually any source. In addition, Microsoft has worked on the interaction of the individual Office programs and improved the integration of elements from Excel in Word or Outlook, for example.
PowerPoint now has transitions with morphing effect and zoom function as well as 4K video export on board.
A lot has also happened with Outlook. The personal information manager (PIM), for example, can read out e-mails to you aloud on request and introduces the @mentions function, which makes e-mail conversations in larger groups much easier. Small adjustments can also be found in the menu ribbon of all Office applications. If you save your documents in OneDrive, you can activate the automatic save function on request and work with a mostly reliable real-time protection from now on. Less interesting for private users are improvements in network management, such as new command line tools for central update control or more management guidelines.
Who should use Office 2019?
Even if 2019 is printed on the packaging, Office 2019 can hardly be distinguished from Office 2016 after its first launch. Advantage: All functions can be found in the usual place. It is not necessary to familiarise yourself with Office 2016 again, as is the case when switching from Office 2007 to Office 2010. But if you want to discover the new features, you have to take a very close look and make intensive use of the office suite. And that is exactly the “problem” of Office (2019).
For most private users, Office 2007 probably already offered a more than sufficient range of functions for most everyday use. Intensive users who also use the new Excel formulas or have waited for the morphing effect of PowerPoint are certainly better off with Office 365. Here additional functions are imported almost monthly by update, which facilitate the work. In addition, the version scores with lavish OneDrive memory and other practical features.
However, if you can’t make friends with the Office 365 subscription model and are looking for a new office, you’re not going to make a mistake by purchasing Office 2019. Office 2019 also contains a convincing Office package from Microsoft, albeit with more functionality than many will ever need.