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Microsoft Office 2019 vs Office 2016: Should You Upgrade?

October 30, 2018

If you’re looking for something new from your Microsoft Office applications, you might look into upgrading to Microsoft Office 2019.  

Microsoft has recently released Office 2019, a local version of the Microsoft Office suite. It is standalone, and not cloud-based like Office 365. Like Office 2016, the license for Office 2019 can be purchased one time, and you get to use the programs for as long as you can.

But before taking the leap, what would it look like upgrading to Office 2019? Let’s take a quick look into this new offering by Microsoft.

New Features and Updates

Some of the new features that can be found in Office 365 have been included in Office 2019.  Productivity is key, and in Office 2019, there have been more creative ways to make sure you are able to work faster and smarter.


Word has been given some nifty functions especially for those creating documents on the fly.  Text-to-speech function has been added to help you create documents without having to look twice at your spell checker. Inking and accessibility has been improved for those who like using a stylus or a digital pen, and the ability to use this across all applications in the Office Suite. Focus Mode simply darkens the screen and reduces the UI elements displayed to help you focus more.  There is also a translator, Learning tools and @Mentions.


Excel offers new formulas to achieve automation makes flow charting easier by offering new connectors for objects in flow charting. You can also create funnel charts to show stages and 2D mapping for comparing geographical values, with added functionality of PowerPivot, PowerQuery and access to Power BI which is a business analytics solution which allows you to visualize data and share these across your organization.


Your presentations will now look better than before. Visualization and media have been enhanced in this version, and can now support more functions to make your presentations connect more with your audience. You can now work with 3D model display and manipulation, add SVG files to your slides, and shift to new slides with new transitions. If you want to create a video out of your presentation, you can do so by exporting it in 4K UHD format. PowerPoint also uses inking ability by letting you move elements around with your digital stylus.


Outlook gets personal as you can now use the “@” symbol to tag people in emails. Focus Mode is also available in Outlook to help you in composing emails and streamlining workflow. Those running on the Windows OS get travel and delivery cards feature, while those on the Mac OS get new email templates.  If you wish to schedule your emails, the Send Later function is available, and read receipt function gives you the confidence that your recipient has received your message.


OneNote gets a major upgrade and is now known as OneNote for Windows 10. The new version includes Ink-to-Text support, which means words written by hand are turned into typed text. Syncing is better between connected devices on the new version.

Operating System and Requirements

Yes, it does matter what operating system you are running on. With this update, Microsoft Office 2019 will only run on Windows 10 and the three recent versions of Mac which is macOS Sierra 10.12, High Sierra 10.13 and Mojave 10.14. If your computer is currently running on Windows 7 or 8, or a lower operating system on Mac than the three mentioned, then you’ll have to make do with Office 2016 unless you decide to subscribe to Office 365.  

Online Storage

While you get a perpetual license to Office 2019, it does not come with additional online storage. That means all files must be stored locally in your drive. While this allows you to have instant access to them, you wouldn’t have access to additional secure storage should you need it. You can sign up for free storage with OneDrive, where you will receive 5GB of storage, or you can subscribe to their plans for more.

However, if you have not transitioned to using cloud storage for majority of your files or any work that you do, then purchasing the one-time license to Office 2019 might be your best option.

Purchase Prices

Although there will be fewer editions to Office 2019 and limited features included from Office 365, as Microsoft has declared, cloud support for Office 2016 will be terminated, and access to cloud-based services such as hosted emails and online storage will be disabled after October 2020.  That means, you’ll need to upgrade somewhere along the way. If not your operating system, then at least your Microsoft Office Suite.


Looking at overall costs, you would definitely save money if you purchase the one-time license to Office 2019, especially if you plan to keep your computer for the next two years. Without having to pay monthly subscription fees, you can use the Office Suite straightaway, and you can use it for as long as you need it, plus you get some of the features and updates that are available on Office 365.