Microsoft releases Office 2019

Office 2019

The company has started with the roll out of its latest version of the Office suite for its on-premise customers. Alongside some minor cosmetic tweaks to the interface, there are several new features and improvements over Office 2016 that will improve productivity. Please note that Office 365 subscribers already have access to these features (and more) through automatic feature updates, see the “The difference between Office 2019 and Office 365” section further down.

So what’s new?

Microsoft has added new features to most apps in the suite, with the emphasis on “easier, better, more”:


“Get work done easier”

  • Black theme
  • Learning tools (captions and audio descriptions)
  • Speech feature (text-to-speech)
  • Improved inking functionality
  • Accessibility improvements

“Perform better data analysis”

  • Funnel charts, 2D maps, and timelines
  • New Excel functions and connectors
  • Ability to publish Excel to PowerBI
  • PowerPivot enhancements
  • PowerQuery enhancements

“Create more impactful content”

  • Zoom capabilities for ordering of slides within presentations
  • Morph transition feature
  • Ability to insert and manage Icons, SVG, and 3D models
  • Improved roaming pencil case

“Manage email more efficiently”

  • Updated contact cards
  • Office 365 Groups
  • @mentions
  • Focused inbox
  • Travel and delivery summary cards

The difference between Office 2019 and Office 365

Office 2019 (for both Windows and Mac) is a one-time purchase and does not receive feature updates after you purchase it. Office 2019 includes a meaningful subset of features that are found in Office 365, but it’s not part of Office 365. Office 2019 will receive quality and security updates as required.

Office 365 is a user-based subscription service powered by the Microsoft cloud. It provides access to a suite of services beyond what the on-premises version has and receives feature updates on an ongoing basis. It includes the most productive, secure, and up-to-date features.

The following Office 365 features are not included in Office 2019 for Windows.

Unlocks creativity
  • Editor in Word
  • Tap in Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Designer in PowerPoint
  • Researcher in Word
  • Ideas in Excel
  • Data Types in Excel
Built for teamwork
  • Real time collaboration across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • @mentions in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

1 Real-time collaboration is available in Office 2019 but only as part of Word 2019, and only when used in combination with SharePoint Online.

Integrated for simplicity
  • Shared computer licensing
  • Language packs included
  • FastTrack Options
  • Intune Integration
Intelligent security
  • ATP in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive for Business
  • Office 365 Message Encryption
  • Office Enterprise Protection
  • Add sensitivity label in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook


Office 2019 definitely has some improvements over the 2016 version which would justify the purchase. If you’re looking for regular updates and new features though, you might want to consider subscribing to Office 365, as this will provide regular feature updates to keep you as up-to-date as possible.