Here’s what a small business owner needs to know . . .
As usual, the new version of Office will have several new features, but that’s not what this blog article is about. More important to you are the big changes that affect your planning and your purchasing decisions. Here are the hot points you need to know:
- Office 2019 launches October 2nd, 2018 which means Microsoft is immediately phasing out the 2016 version. The on-shelf stock of 2016 is already beginning to dwindle so very soon 2019 will be the only version available for purchase. By October 31st it is expected that all 2016 stock will be depleted.
- Only Windows 10 will allow the PC version to load. Since Windows 7 end of life is January 2020, Microsoft decided to go ahead and lock out that operating system (as well as all flavors of Windows 8). You have to be running Windows 10 or don’t even try to install Office 2019.
- In similar manner, only the two most recent macOS versions are supported. As of this writing, those would be 10.13 and 10.12.
- There is no longer a PC and Mac version so purchasing is simpler. A license code is purchased, and the installer automatically installs the proper version for your machine.
- Pricing for the single licenses has increased approximately 10% over the 2016 pricing.
Office may be purchased the same way it has since 2016. For example, Office 2019 Home and Business purchased one license at a time is approximately $239. This allows for installation on one machine only. It is ideal for a business user with only one machine who buys Office once every ten years. Staying current is not a concern for this person’s needs.
The other purchase model is via subscription, which Microsoft is trying very hard to encourage. The subscription model really does make sense for many users since it insures you are always current, never have to keep up with license keys for install and can install Office on up to 5 PC's, 5 tablets & 5 phones. That means your work computer, home computer, iPad and laptop can all have Office installed for one low price, as low as $8 per month. Microsoft offers multiple subscription models, so be sure and consult with your IT professional to make sure you are getting the right one for your needs.
It’s easy to see the Office 2019 launch as Microsoft strong-arming everyone into upgrading to Windows 10 or buying the latest version of the software. Before passing judgement, consider for a moment how old Windows 7 and that version of Office is on your machine right now. Internet threats exist now that no one could even think of until recent years. Old software can only be patched so many times and even then there are still vulnerabilities. Keeping current has a multitude of benefits (see my July blog) and may help keep your company from becoming a target. Talk with your IT company and get all the facts so you can make informed decisions.
Today’s blog author is Mike Farlow, Chief Operating Officer at ComTech