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This is what's included in Office 2019, Microsoft's new perpetual Office license


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Earlier today at its Ignite 2018 conference, Microsoft announced that Office 2019 is generally available, after months of being in preview. It's only available for businesses right now though, with the consumer SKUs and the server SKUs coming later on.

Office 2019 is the latest, and quite possibly the last perpetual license of Office. Perpetual means that you own it forever, and Microsoft wants users on its subscription plan, Office 365 (or Microsoft 365, which includes Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security). The firm really hasn't talked about Office 2019, and other than Microsoft wanting people on Office 365, that's also because there's really nothing that's new.

Everything that's available today as part of Office 2019 is already available in Office 365 ProPlus (I was told that the features in Office 2019 consumer SKUs are already in Office 365 Personal/Home). Office 365 users get regular feature updates, while perpetual license users do not. In other words, people that bought Office 2016 also don't have these features. And while Office 365 users will continue to get new features, Office 2019 won't get those either.

So, here's what you actually get with Office 2019. Basically, you get the features that have been added in Office 365 since Office 2016 launched, with the exception of anything that requires a connection to the cloud.

You'll see Morph in PowerPoint, which is the ability to rotate 3D objects between slides, and you can even embed slides within slides now. In Outlook, you can draft emails that can be scheduled to be sent later, and of course, you get Focused Inbox. Focused Inbox basically splits your email into two, using machine learning to decide what you want to see.

Across the board, there are inking improvements in Office 2019. For example, there's the new Ink to Shape functionality that lets you draw something and it creates that shape. Learning Tools have been improved, so you get things like Focus Mode in Word and the ability to read text aloud while it highlights what's being said.

One of the key things that you don't get in Office 2019 is real-time co-authoring. The collaboration tools that are in Office 2016 are still there, but anything beyond that isn't included.

Office 2019 is available today for businesses, and consumer SKUs will follow in a few weeks.

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