back to article Office 2019 lumbers to the stage once more as Microsoft promises future releases

What might well be the last non-cloudy version of Microsoft Office has been nudged gently into the light. The on-premises edition of Office 2019 has shipped and contains all the enhancements that Office 365 ProPlus users have seen over the last three years. Microsoft is at pains to point out that 2019 is a one-time release …

  1. 0laf Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Commitment

    Hmmm MS was 'committed' to its mobile platform as well.

    Might as well be advertised as "Office 2019, we'd really rather you didn't buy this".

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Mushroom

      Re: Commitment

      I'd really rather I didn't buy it either. Every time my corporate PC breaks, something breaks, it gets slower or crashes more. Honestly, I went a year where a day without Excel crashing was almost unheard of.

      Office 365? Office 3.65, more like...

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: Commitment

        <quote>Office 365? Office 3.65 0.365, more like...</quote>

        FTFY!!!

      2. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: Commitment

        Same here. Office 2016 is remarkably crash-prone. I get 2-3 crashes a week from Excel, Outlook has a habit of randomly crashing every day or so as well. It's also bloody slow as well as times. Given the availability of modern processing power, it's quite startling how sluggish various actions are in Office 2016

        But still, this is the modern Microsoft. Keep pushing out pointless new features that nobody really cares about whilst ignoring existing usability, reliability and quality issues.

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: Commitment

      Office 2019 "please don't buy this $150/£150 copy once and not give us any more money for 10+ years" version.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Commitment

        Exactly. Buy a stand alone version for £100-150 and you have it. For keeps.

        Subscribe to their poxy 365 and you'll pay that every fucking year for the same thing.

        Get LibreOffice if you can use it in your environment. FREE.

        I will never buy a subscription. If anything prevents me using my Office 2010 I'll just use LO. I only stuck with MSOffice because I used to be tied to Outlook. And now I stick with it because it's on this PC. On my others it's LO all the way. (And PaleMoon with Lightning for my diary - pity LO hasn't got a diary or note component to replace Outlook and Onenote/Evernote)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'Subscribe to their poxy 365 and you'll pay that every fucking year for the same thing'

          You pay every day for the rest of your life... Plus every time there's a Cloud outage... Two mega-ones just happened recently too:

          _____

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/05/microsoft_office_outlook_skype_throttled/

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/04/thunderstruck_azure_backout/

        2. Ken 16 Silver badge

          Re: Commitment

          I'll compromise and pay for for a WPS Office Professional lifetime license

    3. djstardust Silver badge

      Re: Commitment

      2009 Mac Pro

      Windows 7 ultimate

      Office 2003

      All working fine, every single day. Thanks!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Office 2003 All working fine, every single day. Thanks!

        Doesn't every version from Office 2003 on, require activation though.... If so, what happens when the Win7 Rig dies...???

        The bigger issue here though, is all the organizations paying into the perpetual Office-Subscription cesspit. Especially local government offices and those that have recently turned their backs on Linux & Libre-Office (German cities etc). Its all coming at a time when most governments are broke, so its just unforgivable!

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. K Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Office 2003 All working fine, every single day. Thanks!

          Sure Office 2003 should be classed as abandonware now....

          Would love to see M$ try to bring a piracy case for it, then get laughed out of court..

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Adelio

      Re: Commitment

      What I want to know is what EXACTLY in office 2019 requires that is ONLY be run in Windows 10.

      Word, no need

      Excel no need

      Outlook, no

      etc....

      Oh I know, another way to force people to use windows 10....

      And going forward forced to pay a subscription to use the dammed thing.

      I am using office 2007 (On windows 8) and it does everything i need it to do at home and at work.

      In fact, why bother keep producing new versions of office, if there is more that 1 in 10,000 people who might think of using something in a newer version of office than office 97 I would be suprised.

    6. Ken 16 Silver badge

      Re: Commitment

      wasn't that the Lumia slogan?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    won't see any of the goodness Office 365 users are promised in coming years, such as AI

    Sounds like a very good reason to buy the on-prem version.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      Terminator

      Clippy won't like that. He won't like that at all...

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge
      WTF?

      WTF do we need AI in a word processor, or spreadsheet, or slide deck?

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        AI is just marketing BS, AI in Word Processing will be the Spell Checker, Spreadsheet it will be Excel Queries, Powerpoint it will be Wordart.

        1. overunder

          What the hell is Wordart?

          You sound up to date with MS Office, I was almost thinking people had moved away from the typical office software.

          As I really have no idea about Office, what can it do that you couldn't do in HTML5+.js?

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            "what can it do that you couldn't do in HTML5+.js?"

            It can eliminate the need to deal with HTML5+JS.

            1. overunder

              "It can eliminate the need to deal with HTML5+JS."

              I don't understand this, but of course you might be using Lynx to post so you can eliminate the need. Regardless, apparently Microsoft Office is now very complexed.

              I'm now concerned by people who send me .xls files in 2018. Is it that people who use that file format think everyone uses that file format? I can't imagine why the same contents can't be accepted as a .HTML file.

              A lot of people just want to open a file without having to worry about plugins and possibly versioning. Do I want more than 1 application to open multiple file formats of similar contents? Can't say I do.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                "I can't imagine why the same contents can't be accepted as a .HTML file."

                Because HTML is an absolutely terrible format for sharing documents with, particularly if Javascript is required as well. It works OK for web pages, but that's where it should remain.

                If the only other option is HTML, then I'd strongly prefer to get an .xls file. Fortunately, however, there are more reasonable choices than those two.

                1. overunder

                  Assuming what you don't use is terrible while not knowing what you use isn't terrible, well that thinking might be literally in the Microsoft marketing play book.

                  But, is HTML absolutely terrible or just not the best? In today's world, a unified DOM parser is all it takes for HTML along with JavaScript or otherwise. In MS office you need, well, I have no idea. What does each of the individual MS Office parsers require? Does anyone outside of Microsoft know? Most just pay the price and will never know.

                  While I'm not the biggest fan of CDN's, at least that is an option with JavaScript or whichever parser you choose. Sadly maybe, while since UINT is now a feasible option to allow Javascript to be a loader/patcher, that doesn't mean your browser will allow that... yet (but it's still MUCH better than the Java.jar).

                  As far as HTML being OK for webpages, I guess we all have to partially agree. VRML failed (or so it seems) along with other attempts to change web interfacing, and while nobody seems to be coming up with something better for the web, that most certainly doesn't mean that something better isn't required.

                  1. JohnFen Silver badge

                    "But, is HTML absolutely terrible or just not the best?"

                    Terrible, in my opinion, for a whole host of reasons.

                    "In today's world, a unified DOM parser is all it takes for HTML along with JavaScript or otherwise."

                    Yes, but so? That doesn't address the problems with using HTML for this sort of thing (especially with HTML5), and if Javascript (or any other live code) is a required component, that just makes it worse.

                    "since UINT is now a feasible option to allow Javascript to be a loader/patcher, that doesn't mean your browser will allow that"

                    I would consider browsers not supporting that to be a good thing, but largely irrelevant to me, as I generally don't allow websites to run Javascript in my browser. It's just too risky.

      2. onefang Silver badge

        "WTF do we need AI in a word processor, or spreadsheet, or slide deck?"

        AI in a word processor to write your documents for you. So that instead of using the same template over and over again to tell people your web site has just been breached and all their credit card details are now on the dark web, everyone gets a deeply personalized letter that is full of the sorts of information Microsoft has been slurping from your PC for the last couple of years.

        Dear Jim,

        Last week, while you where visiting your sick grandmother in hospital, our web site suffered a rather unfortunate incident, rather like when your under age daughter Jenny accidentally sent that sext to Robert (your priest) instead of Bobby (her boyfriend). As a result, your credit card details have been exposed, and that lengthy list of items you recently purchased from BDSMtoys'R'us has been published publicly on our FaceBook feed.

        P.S. Your gramma is fine, and will be released tomorrow, but her dog has fleas, caught them from the mutt next door. Probably a good idea to leave your own dog at home next time you visit her.

        P.P.S. Robert has promised to not send that photo to any more of his friends. Microsoft have assured us that they will delete it from his OneDrive account, for a small fee. We pointed Microsoft at the copy of your credit card details available on the dark web, just in case they didn't already have their own copy.

        Have a nice day Jim, and don't forget your anniversary next week, like you did last year.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. WTF do we need AI in a word processor, or spreadsheet, or slide deck?

        why, to process your data in the cloud and share it with carefully selected business partners, what else? Ah, well, and with all other relevant government-related sector parties to make sure MS stay compliant with local and international legal framework [bullshit bullshit] arrangments and other obligations.

        But hey, what's a small yearly subscription price against the benefit of everlasting business relationship between trustworthy partners...

  3. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Singular Note for MSFT

    I have been using One Note since Office 2010 to create new documents, if I am not sure what the final shape of the document will be, and if it needs items of information to be drawn from various sources and held in a file that is easy to organise and navigate.

    I was recently working on a Windows 10 machine with Office 2016. This had both the Windows One Note and the Office One Note. The Windows version is crippled in comparison with the Office version, particularly in exporting files in various formats.

    I hope Microsoft will not axe the features of Office One Note.

    What we really need is a Libre One Note, that MS will be unable to ignore.

  4. DJV Silver badge

    MS lost me as an office user years ago. Now using LibreOffice. It does all I need and isn't encumbered by cloud requirements, subscriptions, stupid lock in or threats of it not working on Win7. If it goes in a direction I don't like then I will stick with the version that works for me or change to something else.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      libreoffice is a nightmare to deploy to a large volume. even more of a nightmare to configure reliably. need admx? then you need to look at third parties such as collabora. these are not fully featured, good luck if you need fine tuning.

      im all for dropping office. even prising outlook out of our environment but the alternatives are just a support nightmare for us.

      as for deployment of office,i use ODT. worked for 2010, 13 and 16. A version exists for 19 too.

      office moght be a shite but its cheap for education and easy yo deploy and maintain.

  5. JohnG Silver badge

    Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

    As Microsoft push users to use their cloud, what is the situation with sensitive documents e.g. classified or with commercial secrets? Can users be sure that copies of their documents are only stored in accordance with their organisation's security policy or their country's national security legislation?

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

      No, they can't.

      I kind of expect organisations that are sensitive about this sort of thing start are going to start mandating in contracts that their data only be processed on PCs without Microsoft Office installed. (Yes, I have some actual ones I know in mind...)

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

        > I kind of expect organisations that are sensitive about this sort of thing start are going to start mandating in contracts that their data only be processed on PCs without Microsoft Office installed.

        I suspect they're just going to get sold SharePoint, too, for a lot of cases (or OneDrive). Even if it's a "Special" SharePoint on locally sourced servers, not replicated back to Redmond.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

          Don't you mean TeemZ or whatever it's called this week?

    2. Matt 52

      Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

      This is almost certainly the last version of Office our org will ever use; we will *never* use a cloud service, and i can say that emphatically - recognising how long "never" really is

      Off we go to LibreOffice from around 2021 i should think

      1. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

        "Off we go to LibreOffice from around 2021 i should think"

        Why wait?

    3. BobChip
      FAIL

      Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

      Can users be sure that copies of their documents are only stored in accordance with their organisation's security policy or their country's national security legislation?

      NO

      That simple.

    4. APJ

      Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

      We do some work in this area, there's some interesting progress in DLP and in particular in integration of DLP into Office in a way that is actually useable for normal humans using teh Secure Islands aquisition Microsoft made, now named Azure Information Protection. This allows us to ensure documents and emails are encrypted at rest and in transit and when we're talking about documents stored in the cloud we have BYOK (bring your own key) and shortly HYOK (Hold Your Own Key) encryption facilities, this is all baked into Azure. I know the cloud gets a regular kicking on here, but in this specific area it's actually lighting up some good functionality which was very difficult to pull off before, especially in sharing content securely B2B.

      1. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

        "This allows us to ensure documents and emails are encrypted at rest and in transit and when we're talking about documents stored in the cloud we have BYOK (bring your own key) and shortly HYOK (Hold Your Own Key) encryption facilities, this is all baked into Azure"

        That's nice but to give an example of the problem, EU classified documents may not be transported or stored outside the EU, even if encrypted. Even if Microsoft promise to only use cloud storage within the EU for certain customers, once the data has left the customer's site, how can they be sure? After all, governments and companies in several European countries have been the subject of spying by US intelligence agencies, despite being allies.

        1. APJ

          Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

          Oh yeah, I completely agree. I don't have any involvement with central gov or the security services any more, their security requirements differ from the general population I work with.

          I suppose I'd question if you can be sure that any of your data only lives in the UK (say) irrespective of how you store it. If I'm relying on a file server in my datacentre can I be certain that something didn't end up on a USB stick, a backup tape lost in transit, etc. I know that this can be achieved, but I've also done a lot of work across a lot of public and private sector and know what the real world looks like.

          I try to think about how I'd approach my security if I knew I'd been breached and what kind of thing would I want to have in place. DLP solutions have (in my limited experience) been expensive and cumbersome for the user and I think this is starting to change as the cloud provides us with an authentication and identity management platform that can and does span organisations without them needing to do a great deal. So if I send an email attachment to the wrong person, it now doesn't matter as I can revoke their rights to it, I didn't used to be able to do that.

          It's no global panacea, but it is an evolution of capability for some of the standard basic issues that businesses I talk to face.

        2. EnviableOne Bronze badge

          Re: Classified and commercially sensitive documents?

          However the Microsoft Cloud environment has an equivalency decision from the EU, unlike google and post-brexit britain.....

  6. Sixtysix
    Mushroom

    Some interesting spin already

    Expiring NDAs all around...

    Comparing against their O365 offering which apparently offer the "most productive and most secure Office experience -with the lowest total cost of ownership for deployment and management," I'm torn.

    O19 demands no further Infrastructure or Information Management changes to implement - O365 want oodles more bandwidth, and give a whole pile of new headaches to information management... but looks like it's (finally) going to be price competitive.

    Thankfully the first complication is a simple one of "pays money and takes choice" - and the latter is SEP (someone else's problem), so I've asked the users which they want...

    The answers are not fitting on a postcard...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some interesting spin already

      O365 want oodles more bandwidth, and give a whole pile of new headaches to information management... but looks like it's (finally) going to be price competitive

      For how long, though? I'm currently using O365 across the family fleet. but I'm fully expecting MS to jack up the price and to have to revert to my O2007 from disc.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orifice

    365? - No

    2016? - No

    2019? - Very likely no.

    No, no, no, no, no.

    Have I made myself clear?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Orifice

      W10? - No

      Cloud? - No

  8. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Hold on there..

    What have you got against Publisher? What harm does it do? For home and small office users it's perfect. Want to make a greetings card for aunty, a price list for your cafe or an A4 poster for the church fete and it's perfect. It may not be much cop for professional use I admit. Which makes it sheer madness that MS in their unlimited stupidity don't include it in the home version but do in the Pro versions.

    And I know there are other programmes that will do the job, and are pretty cheap. And often you can just use Word/equivalent, I know. But WTF if it's available for Office you might as well keep it there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hold on there..

      Hmm, Affinity Publisher has just gone into public beta. Might prove a better option..

    2. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: Hold on there..

      I'm kinda baffled by Publisher. Only person I have ever seen use it in anger is my 75 year old dad (for church newsletters).

      Theres potential there (last time I looked about 2000). Hmmm - it does feel like an underdeveloped bit opf Office.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hold on there..

      Publisher is 1 of the tools that our staff use a lot. They'll spend an hour creating a pretty flyer inviting people to morning tea because it's their Birthday and there's a cake.

      Anything created in it doesn't seem to export to other formats. So have to keep upgrading office suites to ones that have Publisher. Microsoft every time.

    4. K.o.R
      Pint

      Re: Hold on there..

      Publisher user here, I love it. I'm pretty sure that it hasn't actually had a new useful feature in donkey's years, but if that just means I can keep an old version around to work on its file type then so be it. It all gets exported to PDF in the end anyway.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Hold on there..

        Yep. And for the person who said the only person he(?) knows who uses it is their grandfather for the church newsletter ( I think it was). Well, there are an awful lot of churches, and newsletters. Small enterprises that want to produce a well laid out document, simply, with the information needed.

        It's perfect for these small organisations, or households who want to make a few invitations, or notices. Then knock out 10 or 20 copies on the inkjet printer.

        Probably not so great for creating a magazine with 1000+ print run. Though I'm sure that's been done too.

        I have Office Pro + 2010. It has Publisher.

        I see no reason to upgrade and frankly I'd have been happier staying with the previous version.

    5. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Hold on there..

      The only time I've seen publisher used in anger(sic) was my daughters school when the ICT teacher would send out the school newsletter in publisher format.

      However because the majority of people did not have publisher installed, it was basically unreadable unless you went through a lot of hoops.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Hold on there..

        They were sending a document electronically from Publisher. FFS. Why? That's not what it's for. And an ICT teacher should be able to send it as a fucking PDF if they must use Publisher, anyway.

        I like Publisher. For when it's appropriate.

        This is like giving everyone chopsticks to eat roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

        1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

          Re: Hold on there..

          "They were sending a document electronically from Publisher. FFS. Why? That's not what it's for. And an ICT teacher should be able to send it as a fucking PDF if they must use Publisher, anyway."

          I raised the question everytime at parents evenig. They promised to send vis PDF next time and never

          did. However I think that there is an assumption that publisher documents are like word document and are easily read. However there are very few converters around (I don't think even Google supports it)

          To be honest this was the time when virtually anyone could teach ICT since all it involved was showing kids around powerpoint. They were a ex-chemistry teacher and to be honest I was felt they were only doing it to tide them over till retirement.

          Yes publisher is OK, and far better than trying to format word documents. I user Serif PagePlus for similar tasks. You can normally pick up a older copy for virtually nothing

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Hold on there..

            I think, at one time, you could get Serif software free. They used to give away the older versions, if I remember correctly.

  9. TheVogon Silver badge

    "Microsoft has already announced that Office 2019 will not run on Windows 7 or 8.x"

    Or on Windows 10 LTSB.

    1. ivan5

      In that case what use is it?

  10. JohnFen Silver badge

    In other words

    Office 2019 is the last version of Office, period.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clippy is now AI?

    So Clippy is now called AI?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Clippy is now AI?

      Nope, it is AS

    2. 20TC

      Re: Clippy is now AI?

      I thought Clippy was always an arsehole irritation...?

      But seriously, I can’t really see enough difference between Office 2016 (run by me) and Office 2010 (run by the rest of my guys) for day-to-day office DP work... even the most tortuous Excel pivot table crashes equally well in both versions....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clippy is now AI?

        I see enough difference...to wish I was still using Excel 2010.

        My four year old Core i7 laptop with Win7/Office 2010 is miles faster than my brand new Core i7 laptop with Win10/Office 2016 on the same spreadsheets.

        I can't be the only one surely?

  12. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I bet that MS will produce another version stand alone version of Office after 2019 and probably for a decade or 2 after that unless they want to loose a shed load of money. There will be organisations that either can't use cloud versions of Office or don't want to. And if MS don't produce a stand alone office suite they will look elsewhere for one.

    1. DaLo

      Yes, but that was also said about Adobe and the Creative Cloud and still everyone went out and signed straight up for it.

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Yes, but that was also said about Adobe and the Creative Cloud and still everyone went out and signed straight up for it.

        Not everyone went out and signed up for it.

        Attentive readers may recall that something someone said reminded me that I should transfer my Acrobat (Writer) 8 license to my new Win10 PC.

        So it was a fully paid-for copy of Acrobat 8, none of this cloud nonsense (because it came before Adobe succumbed to that particular madness), but of course it's so old that (a) it's no longer supported at all, and (b) apparently it's less than 100% functional on Win10, but not supported so there's no way it will ever be fixed.

        What about an upgrade? Er... Um... Well, no, there's no way to license an up-to-date version of Acrobat on a one-off payment basis. There's no Adobe equivalent of the Office 2016 side of the 2016-vs-365 debate. It's *all* subscription.(1)

        So, given that the reasons I got it in the first place are no longer relevant, the new PC is and will remain stubbornly devoid of Acrobat.

        (1) The first time I saw a price for subscription-based software was 1987. I saw a price list for software licenses for IBM mainframes (the company I worked for had a big room full of large computers, including a 4381, some Vaxen, a Wang, a DG, and a variety of other now-extinct beasties).

        Lotus 1-2-3's mainframe version(2) was priced at $11000 a month. Yes. eleven thousand a *month*.

        (2) Yes, there was one. I didn't see it in action, but it did exist.

  13. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Subscriptions

    Slurps love of subscriptions sounds good on paper. But all the products are mature products with competitive mature products. Other than some aggravation of learning a new package there really is nothing keeping someone from moving to another product. Some will be better suited for specific markets. Many do not want to be nickeled and dimed every month for a subscription they might use irregularly.

    1. Dwarf Silver badge

      Re: Subscriptions

      I agree. There are several products I use infrequently where I have a non subscription licence and the product has gone subscription based, the effect seems to be one of:

      1. It stops existing customers upgrading

      2. It stops new sales from recommendations from existing happy customers

      3. It is not cost effective for those who use apps infrequently.

      When will marketing companies wake up ?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office 2019 will not run on Windows 7

    that saves me a tenner I might (just might) consider to pay through my wife's work discount deal on various software! Naturally, if I ever found one, just ONE feature worth paying a tenner for that's missing from Office 2016 (or perhaps 2012) I'm running now. Funny, how with Windows 10 I have reached the ultimate synergy with the bestest software maker in the world. Total synergy through total separation, lol.

  15. J27 Bronze badge

    Looks like office 2013 sp6 more than anything. There is little reason to upgrade Office versions anymore.

  16. BGatez

    ugh! no- DOUBLE ugh

    If it weren't for (alleged) compatibility issues with free office suites, and Outlook addicts, NO ONE (in their right minds) would deal with the mess that is Office.

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