Office 2019: What’s New, And Should You Upgrade?
Most professionals and students have been using Microsoft Office products in their everyday lives for years - in fact, it is currently estimated that over 1.2 billion people around the world use Microsoft Office every day. This popularity is supplemented by the rapid growth of the cloud-based Office 365 subscription, which just over 120 million users according to recent estimates.
With such a popular software package relied on by almost one-seventh of the world’s total population, it’s no wonder why Microsoft has been dedicating years of effort towards an overhaul of their Office suite. The release of Office 2019 marks the first time that Microsoft has introduced significant updates to the platform since the introduction of Office 2016 a few years ago.
Since being released in September 2018, there has been much talk surrounding whether or not users should upgrade to Office 2019. With such discussions in mind, we hope that the following insights can help you to make the best software purchasing decisions for individuals and businesses alike.
What New Features Does Office 2019 Offer?
Office 2019 offers a host of new features for both casual and power users. As Microsoft Office is a suite of different software programs, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook, we will be taking a look at the significant upgrades that have been added to Office overall and each of these individual tools.
Overall, many improvements have been implemented throughout Office 2019, with some of the major ones being:
- The ability to seamlessly integrate Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) within your documents, presentations, or spreadsheets, and apply professional-looking filters to them with ease.
- Expansion of Microsoft’s Inking feature, allowing tablet and touch screen users to highlight text, write out equations, convert their drawings to graphical shapes, and much more. This is an especially exciting improvement, as it reflects the greater trend of Microsoft working to expanding touch-based functionalities throughout their software and hardware product lines.
- The addition of Microsoft Translator, which will enable users to translate from one language to another, all without having to leave your current workflow.
- Improvements to overall accessibility features, including notable upgrades to the Accessibility Checker, which now supports international standards for accessible documentation and the ability to enable audio cues to assist in guiding users as they work.
Furthermore, notable improvements to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint include:
Microsoft Word: The updated features included for Microsoft Word revolve around allowing users to create more engaging and visually stunning documents, including:
- The ability to add visual impact to your documents via Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), which open up limitless possibilities for graphic designers and visually-inclined professionals in particular.
- LaTeX equation support, which will now empower scientific and engineering professionals to use Word for basic technical documentation.
Microsoft Excel: While there are some Office-wide features that Excel users will benefit from, the major update we are excited to see is the addition of more useful functions such as TEXTJOIN, CONCAT, and IFS. For more information about these new functions, we suggest checking out Microsoft’s website.
Microsoft PowerPoint: PowerPoint is set to be more powerful than ever in Office 2019. A host of great new features and functionalities have been added, including:
- The ability to add motion-based animations and transitions to your presentations with Morph.
- Surface users will be happy to hear that they can now run their slideshows with their digital pens. Alternatively, PowerPoint will now support any pen that has a Bluetooth button built-in.
Does This Mean Office 2016 Now Obsolete?
No, Office 2016 is still alive and well, especially when one considers the fact that it is currently the leading business productivity software package on the planet.
Even with this being said, it is vital that our customers are aware of the fact that extended support for Office 2016 is set to end towards the end of 2025. It may be hard to think this far ahead into the future - especially when purchasing a simple software package - but we feel that clear communication is the best policy, especially when it comes to your business or professional career. However, the end of extended support does not mean that your Office software will just stop working in 2025. Instead, it denotes the fact that regular updates, including critical security support, will end in 2025. This is an especially important factor to consider for those in charge of enterprise-level software purchasing, as unsupported software can create serious cybersecurity concerns in the future.
Should We Upgrade to Office 2019?
The short answer: It depends on what you’re hoping to get out of the Office software suite. While there are dozens of significant additions and improved features found throughout Office 2019, very few can be considered revolutionary or must-have for the majority of Office users. If you are someone who would benefit from having access to the cutting-edge software functionalities packed into Office 2019, then we highly suggest upgrading to the best Office package that Microsoft currently has to offer.
However, if you find yourself only using Office for the creation of simple word documents, presentations, or to answer email with Outlook, then Office 2019 might not be the best purchase for your use case. In such situations, we suggest either purchasing or maintaining a license for Office 2016, which includes all of the basic functionalities that users have come to expect from Microsoft Office. Best of all, it comes with a price tag that is significantly lower than Office 2019, which will translate into savings that you can reinvest in your professional or business ventures.
Overall, the recent release of Office 2019 is allowing those in need of cutting-edge features to improve their documents, presentations, and professional workflows in ways that were never before possible. While the average consumer is likely to have their needs satisfied by Office 2016, the option to upgrade to the best set of professional software tools available on the market today presents a great opportunity for those who believe their professional workflow or business is ready to make the jump.