Office 2019 is now available in preview for commercial users

Microsoft announces new Windows 10 update to empower users

It functions in many similar to those provide by subscription of Microsoft Office 365.

Microsoft's FAQ noted that organizations wanting to tap into Microsoft's "intelligent security features" should go with Office 365 ProPlus because perpetual-license versions of Office lack cloud connections.

Office 2019, due in the second half of calendar 2018, is the successor to Office 2016.

Today, Microsoft announced that a preview of Office 2019 is now available for commercial customers.

Office 2019 also includes new IT value.

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The Office 2019 preview will end on December 31, 2018, allowing testing time before actual commercial release, which is scheduled for the second half of this year, according to a Microsoft FAQ document.

Microsoft also said that with the arrival of Office 2019, all Office versions will be moved to Click-to-Run, a deployment platform that allows IT managers to quickly and easily update Office across a large number of devices.

Included in the preview are updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Project, Visio and OneNote, and while there is only a PC version available at the moment, Microsoft promises that Mac preview will appear in the coming months. Excel 2019 adds the ability to publish from Excel to PowerBI, PowerPivot and PowerQuery enhancements, among other features.

To join the Commercial Preview program, users and/or their companies must be registered with the Microsoft Collaborate portal. But while Office 2019 is for Windows 10 only, Microsoft was quick to note that Office 365 will continue to be supported on Windows 7 and 8.1 for as long as those operating systems are supported.

The Office 2019 client apps also will be released as Click-to-Run only. For now, Microsoft is only offering access to organizations, but even that is limited: it's only available to organizations that plan to deploy a volume licensed version of Office 2019 upon its release (which is scheduled for later this year). Organizations are typically used to getting five years of "mainstream support" plus five years of "extended support" in a so-called "5 + 5" support model. Office 2019 will be a valuable upgrade for customers who feel that they need to keep some or all of their apps and servers on-premises.

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