It would be hard to argue that Office is Microsoft’s signature software product. Providing an array of apps, especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Office is essential to all facets of productivity – from analyzing data, developing presentations, and writing reports. Microsoft has released a new on-premises version of Office almost every year, adding new functionalities and handles to them. However, with the advent of Office 365 in 2013, Microsoft shifted the whole operation online to benefit users and corporations. Office 365 can work across multiple devices and platforms and provides enhanced security and added features that are absent in the offline version. Hence, while the latest MS Office 2019 will have the majority of features first introduced in previous versions of Office 365, users are still recommended to subscribe to Office 365 ProPlus to get the full Office experience.
With Office 2019, Microsoft promises to help users develop amazing content in less time. While Excel 2019 features new and powerful data analysis tools – including new formulas and charts, the Morph and Zoom features of PowerPoint 2019 enables the creation of cinematic presentations. The addition of learning tools like Read Aloud and Text Spacing in Word 2019 helps users to focus on the task at hand by actively engaging with the content. Word 2019 also features the Focus Mode – set to block out distractions and put the content front and center. Across all three apps, inking features like the roaming pencil case, pressure sensitivity, and tilt effects have also improved – allowing the user to naturally create documents.
Office 2019 also has enhanced security and streamlined administration, along with moving the version to Click-to-Run (C2R). C2R automatically updates security features on a monthly basis while reducing network consumption. Overall, the shift of Office 2019 to C2R will, undoubtedly, reduce operational costs and improve security. Moreover, the C2R also provides an easy upgrade path to Office 365 ProPlus, which essentially contains all the latest developments released by Microsoft on a monthly basis.
On 24th September, at the Ignite Conference in Florida, Microsoft announced an array of features to be included in Office 365. The most exciting of them is called Ideas – which will enable a unified experience across all Office apps to help save time on everyday tasks. Using Microsoft’s in-house artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, Ideas essentially comes up with basic suggestions for users – from figuring the layout or finding images in Presentation to discovering data outliers in Excel. More AI capabilities included in Excel will assist users in converting images and stock market data into an easily understandable format – which can then be analyzed and manipulated by the user. A nifty tool is also available that converts the picture of a data into an excel file – erasing the need to manually type them.
The second most interesting feature is Microsoft Search, now induced with AI. Similar to how AI enhances searches across search engines, now searching for words and texts across files is set to be much easier and seamless. Overall, Office 365 apps will provide higher levels of productivity due to their cloud connectivity and a high degree of security, along with monthly updates on AI capabilities.
According to Microsoft, Office 2019 will provide all new features for users who aren’t yet ready for the cloud. For users that are, a subscription to Office 365 is the only way to get the best out of Office.