Office 2019: Microsoft has released what they’re calling their last standalone version of Office. And then they released a video dissing it compared to their Office 365 offering.
There just couldn’t be a new Office launch without Microsoft doing something screwy. As far back as Office 97, Microsoft has been confusing their customers with different versions, different pricing, different SKUs, different ways of purchasing and now even a different way of installing it for business customers.
Office 2019 is standalone software. Remember when you didn’t gouged every month for software? That’s standalone. That means no major upgrades just security updates. It also means one licence per one machine for the life of the machine. Microsoft is only promising support for this product for 3 years. Previously Microsoft supported earlier versions of Office for much longer. For example, they just pulled the plug on support for Office 2010 which will still run on Windows 10. There’s no guarantee that Office 2019 will run on later versions of Windows past the 3 year limit.
Office 2019 comes in three different flavours. Office 2019 Home and Student Edition costs $169. Home and Student Edition only contains the Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications.
Office 2019 Home and Business costs $319 and comes with Outlook, OneNote, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. No Access or Publisher.
Here’s a link to the Microsoft Canada web site page where you buy those two versions.
Office 2019 Professional costs $569 and comes with Outlook, OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint plus Access and Publisher.
There’s also volume licensing available for businesses (and not for profits via TechSoup Canada). Under volume licensing, Office 2019 Standard offers the same features as Office 2019 Home and Business. But there’s kicker, you can’t just download the files or an .iso of the product. It requires an Office Deployment Tool, a custom XML configuration file, and command line knowledge to install (swear words optional but indicated).
Trying to buy Office 2019 on the Microsoft Canada web site? It’s not easy. And Microsoft is bombarding you with comparisons to Office 365.
Office 2019 versus Office 365
The most obvious difference between Office 2019 and Office 365 is price. A one time purchase of Office 2019 Home and Business for $319 which should last 3 years versus Office 365 Business for $11 a month. Office 2019 is cheaper. But that Office 365 purchase is constantly upgraded with new features, you get more applications, more licences (extra licences for your laptop, tablet, etc.) and 1TB cloud storage on OneDrive and 60 minutes free calling every month on Skype Business.
Before you go standalone Office 2019, you must be clear on what applications you need for your business, how many devices you need Office installed on and will you use OneDrive and the Skype minutes? One of the odd things that has occurred since Office 365 came out, is more businesses are going back to using Access for databases as they already have the licence and Access is more easily scaled to SQL and the web. If your business is looking at a new database or getting rid of FileMaker, you’ll want Office 365.
There are more features in the Office 365 applications versus the Office 2019. That’s what Microsoft’s new video comparing the two products is about.
Bear in mind that 90% of Office users only utilize 10% of the features. You need to know which features are required for your business.
I think most businesses will want Office 365 over Office 2019.