Don’t waste your cash on Office 2019 (says Microsoft)

We’ve all had a laugh at the cost of Microsoft Office, with the ’90s debuts of Bob and Clippy being specifically hilarious (at the least in hindsight). But now it is Microsoft itself this is making a laugh of Office 2019, the state-of-the-art version of its iconic workplace suite. Although Office 2019 became simply launched this past September, Microsoft is urging you to replace it — and your older versions of Office — with Office 365.

And it’s now not simply in Microsoft’s “Twins Challenge” ads. Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s corporate vice chairman for Office and Windows organization, comes right out and says that Office 2019’s applications are “frozen in time. They don’t ever get updated with new functions,” while “Office 365 consists of fully established Office applications … And these apps hold getting higher over time, with new abilities brought each month.”

Wait, what took place to Office service packs? Well, it appears there received’t be any.
[ Further reading: Review: Office 2019 is the best advertisement yet for Office 365 ]

I’m certain the line of customers wanting to join the ones “new abilities” is already forming. Or perhaps no longer. What precisely can you add to an office suite these days, anyway? As ways as I’m concerned, the last profitable “new capabilities” got here with Office 2003. In the software program enterprise, a 16-year drought for killer apps changed into once inconceivable.

What does Microsoft’s marketing push in opposition to itself suggest? It method that it’s miles shifting from being a product organization to being a carrier agency. Microsoft doesn’t need to promote your bits on a floppy, CD, DVD or download anymore. Instead, it desires you to rent service from it all the time and a day.

It’s been coming for some time. Back in 2015, I mentioned that Microsoft made handiest 10% of its revenue from Windows sales. In Microsoft’s remaining quarter, Microsoft said that its Office sales accelerated 11%, which turned into driven via Office 365 Commercial revenue boom of 34%. Microsoft is persevering with to move its business model to in which the money is. And the money is in cloud-based offerings.

You can see this in what would possibly first look to you like two unrelated developments. First, Microsoft gave up on growing its Edge net browser. It’s changing Edge’s internals with Google’s open-source Chromium code.
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Second, Microsoft is cutting off support for Internet Explorer (IE) 10 years earlier than expected. And, even extra exceptional, Microsoft senior cybersecurity architect Chris Jackson clearly blogged that Microsoft wants you to forestall using IE and start the usage of “modern” browsers instead. And what are modern-day browsers? They’re Chrome-primarily based browsers.

The upshot: Microsoft does not care if you’re the use of Microsoft bits to your pc. It wishes you to apply archrival Google’s Chrome rather. Heck, a Microsoft net developer informed Mozilla’s developers on Twitter that they must throw inside the towel on Firefox in favor of Chromium.

Why? Because, looking in advance, Microsoft wants to coins in on services and not merchandise. That’s one of the motives why Microsoft has been embracing open-supply software. Not simplest is that in which its enterprise clients are now, but if you’re offering offerings in preference to packages, you don’t care so much about having manage of the bits. What you care approximately is turning in terrific services so that it will keep customers coming. And that’s what Microsoft thinks it has in Office 365.

The subsequent natural step from right here is Windows as a service. I don’t understand whilst Microsoft will subsequently switch over to a Chrome OS-style Windows, but I do know it’s coming.

I am, inside the meantime, positive we gained’t ever see another standalone version of Office. It’s achieved.