Office 2019 vs. Office 365: What's Really Happening –

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The launch of Microsoft Office 2019 this week has generated some confusion in the user community. Your questions are understandable, as this version marks a major change in the way Microsoft makes and sells its office productivity solutions.

And if this version confuses you, trust: it's confusing for almost everyone, including myself. So I spoke with Microsoft's corporate vice president, Jared Spataro, at the Ignite 2018 conference of the software giant. And it perfectly clarified the confusion.

Office 2019 is the latest version of the Office productivity suite independent of Microsoft. It's what the firm now calls the "perpetual" version of Office, or what veterans like me could still call "locals." And that's for a good reason: as Spataro told me, Office 2019 does not offer any of the functions connected to the cloud that Office 365 subscribers would see using exactly the same applications. Therefore, it is, in fact, a subset of Microsoft Office compared to the suite versions -or, applications- that Office 365 subscribers see.

This is an important distinction: for the first time, a novelty important the launch of Microsoft Office provides less functionality than the current users, in this case, the subscribers of Office 365, already have access.

This is not the way Microsoft markets the product, of course. And it's fair to say that Office 2019, for example, The perpetual version of Microsoft Office: Provides more functionality than its predecessor, Office 2016.

For Office 365, Microsoft silently deleted version numbers based on the year of the Office desktop applications. You can see this when you start Word or one of the other applications: the box that appears while loading will read "Office 365" instead of the version number (such as "2016" or "2019").

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And this is not marketing. At its core, the version of, let's say, Word that launches as a perpetual customer (Word 2016 or 2019) is the same as the version it launches as an Office 365 subscriber. But the Office 365 version of the application includes many more features. And if you are paying attention to this part of the Microsoft ecosystem, as I do, you know that it includes through more features: Microsoft adds tons of new capabilities to your Office 365 applications, on PC and Mac Desktop Services , mobile, web and online, every month. In comparison, the Windows 10 update program seems slow.

"We have evolved Office 365 to address how customers work today," Mr. Spataro told me. "They want to use the larger screens on PC or Mac for creation, but they also want to work offline and on mobile devices. So we're adapting Office to take advantage of every type of device and scenario. "

I've long described Office 365 as a" no-brainer "for individuals (Office 365 Personal), families (Office 365 Home) and Businesses. all sizes and types (commercial Office 365) At the beginning, this evaluation was linked to two main advantages: the 1TB of OneDrive-based storage that each client receives and the liberal access to Office desktop applications and mobile applications / web on multiple devices.

But over the past year or two, the rapid addition of new features connected to the cloud, many of which, taking advantage of Microsoft's unique artificial intelligence ability, has tipped the balance. Office 365 is still a truism, but now it's for three main reasons, not two, and thanks to this quick launch program, which includes quality updates In addition to the new features, Office 365 customers are also more secure.

But going back to Office 2019 and the confusion that this version has activated.

Office 2019 provides all non-cloud-based fixes and updates that Microsoft has added to Office 2016 in the last three years and packages them in a more traditional way. It is aimed at those customers, first the commercial, but soon there will be a version for the consumer, which will only use the product in a single PC and in "air gap" scenarios in which the PC will rarely or never be online. [19659002] And it's not about addressing a Luddite segment of the audience. There are clients who need to use Office in situations where they would like to be online, but they can not for several reasons. The submarines, maybe, or the oil rigs.

The most surprising thing is that Office 2019 is not the end of the line, either. "Contrary to my suspicions, Microsoft is not being indifferent about whether or not it will launch an Office 2022 (or whatever).

" We will make another perpetual release of Office, "said Spataro. we will do more. "

So, the big change with Office 2019 is that Microsoft is redefining what the version numbers mean.If you see a version number (2019, in this case), then you are looking for a perpetual or local version of Office that does not benefit from the incredible variety of cloud-based functions and artificial intelligence that Microsoft is adding to Office 365 Clients. You're seeing less, not more.

And this means that Office 365 subscribers already are using versions of Word and other Office desktop applications that are superior in all respects to what is available in Office 2019. You will not go to get an Office 2019 update in Office 365. You are only going to continue to receive more functional and quality updates for Office. Each month.

Welcome to the new office.

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