Microsoft has confirmed that its next version of the Office productivity suite would launch later this year, and just like expected, it’d only work on Windows 10.
Office 2019 was originally announced at Ignite last year, and now Microsoft says that the next version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Skype for Business will become available in the second half of the year. A preview program giving testers early access to these apps will launch in the second quarter of 2018, so we’re not very far from this moment.
Additionally, Office 2019 will only work on Windows 10, so Windows 7 and 8.1 user who do not upgrade won’t be able to install the new version of the productivity suite.
Microsoft says Office 2019 will run on any supported Windows 10 SAC release, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018 and the next LTSC release of Windows Server.
Microsoft is also making changes to the way Office can be installed, as the software will be released with Click-to-Run instead of MSI files – these would become exclusive to Office Server products.
Updated support schedule
Office 2019 will also introduce a new standard and extended support schedule, and unlike in the case of its predecessors, patches won’t be shipped for a total of 10 years. Mainstream support will be available for 5 years, while extended support will be offered for just 2 years. Microsoft says support for the previous Office apps isn’t affected, and extended Office 2016 support will end in 2025.
“Modern software not only provides new features to help people do their best work, but also new, more efficient manageability solutions and more comprehensive approaches to security. Software that is more than a decade old, and hasn’t benefited from this innovation, is difficult to secure and inherently less productive. As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence,” Microsoft says.
More information on the release date and the changes coming in Office 2019 will be offered at a later time, most likely closer to the beginning of the preview program.