Office 2019 or Office 365: Which Is a Better Fit for Your Business?

If you are in the market for an Office suite, you now can choose between Office 2019 and Office 365. Find out the main differences between these offerings so that you can make an informed decision about which is best for your company.

Do you want to replace an old version of Microsoft Office on your company’s computers or add this productivity suite to some new machines? If so, you might be wondering whether it is better to use Office 2019, which Microsoft released in the fall of 2018, or Office 365. Here is what you need to know to make the best decision for your business.

The Fundamental Differences

There are a few fundamental differences between Office 2019 or Office 365:

Office 2019. Office 2019 is an on-premises product that you purchase upfront for use on a single computer. You can use this suite’s apps for as long as you want – whether it is three years or three decades. However, Microsoft will not be offering any upgrade options for Office 2019 in the future. This means that if you want to upgrade to the next major on-premises Office release (say Office 2022), you will have to buy it at full price. (Despite rumors to the contrary, Office 2019 will not be the last on-premises version of Office, according to company officials.)

Microsoft offers three Office 2019 suites available through volume licensing: Office Professional Plus 2019, Office Standard 2019, and Office Standard 2019 for Mac. If you need fewer than five licenses, you can use Office Professional 2019 or Office Home & Business 2019, both of which are licensed for business use.

All these suites (except Office Standard 2019 for Mac) need to run on Windows 10 computers. So, if you are running older Windows versions on your computers, you will not be able to use Office 2019.

If you have Mac computers, you can use either Office Standard 2019 for Mac or Office Home & Business 2019. These suites are compatible with the three most recent versions of macOS, which are 10.14, 10.13, and 10.12 at the time of this writing. The next time Apple releases a new major version of macOS (say 10.15), Microsoft will drop support for the oldest of the three versions (10.12) and support the newest version and its two predecessors (10.15, 10.14, and 10.13). The Office apps will still work on computers running the dropped version (10.12), but the apps will not receive any updates.

Office 365. Office 365 is a cloud service that you subscribe to on a per-user basis. Businesses have many subscription plans from which to choose, based how many employees need to use Office 365 and the apps, services, and other options those users will need. With most of the business subscription plans, each licensed user can install the Office apps on five desktop computers (Windows or Mac), five tablets, and five smartphones. With Office 365, you do not need to worry upgrading because users will always have the most up-to-date versions of the apps.

Office 365 is billed either monthly or annually. You pay a higher per-user fee if you choose to pay each month. When you stop paying, the users’ licenses to run the Office apps expire. The apps that are installed on users’ devices do not immediately stop working, though. They usually continue to work for 30 days thanks to a grace period.

Unlike Office 2019, Office 365 will work on computers running older versions of Windows. Office 365 is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, and the two most recent versions of macOS.

Functionality and Support

Not surprisingly, Office 2019 offers more functionality than its predecessor Office 2016. For example, in Office 2019, Microsoft added a text-to-speech feature to Word and funnel charts to Excel.

However, Office 2019 provides less functionality than the current Office 365 apps. The Office 2019 apps do not include many of the cloud- and artificial intelligence (AI)-based features that Microsoft has added to Office 365 apps the past few years. For instance, in Office 2019, Word does not include the Editor feature, even though it is available in the Word app provided through Office 365. This feature uses machine learning and natural language processing to make suggestions on how to improve your writing.

Further, with Office 2019, you will not get any new features delivered through updates. The updates will include only security and stability patches. In contrast, Microsoft will continue to add new features to Office 365 through updates. These updates will also include security and stability patches.

There is another difference in how Microsoft supports Office 2019 compared to Office 365. As long as you subscribe to Office 365, you will receive mainstream support. With Office 2019, Microsoft will provide only five years of mainstream support and two years of extended support.

The Bottom Line

What is best for your company will largely depend on your comfort level with cloud computing. If you are comfortable with using cloud services, subscribing to Office 365 might make more sense. It offers more features and better support than Office 2019. Plus, Office 365 apps work on older versions of Windows. However, Office 2019 is a viable alternative if using cloud services is not a good fit for your business. Contact us if you have any questions about Office 365 or Office 2019.

Apple Is Fixing Defects in iPhone X and MacBook Pro for Free

iphone x photo

Some iPhone X smartphones and MacBook Pro laptops have defects that are impeding their use. Find out which models are affected and how you can get the defects fixed at no charge.

On November 8, 2018, Apple announced the creation of a program to replace a defective component in certain iPhone X smartphones. Apple found that a component in the display module has been failing in some of these phones, causing the following problems:

  • Part or all of the phone’s display does not respond when touched or it responds intermittently
  • The display sometimes reacts even though it was not touched

On the same day, Apple also announced the creation of a program to fix a defect in certain 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops. Apple found that the solid-state drives (SSDs) in some of these laptops are experiencing an issue that leads to data loss and drive failure.

If you have encountered these problems in your iPhone X or MacBook Pro device, you might want to look into these programs. Apple will fix the problem free of charge if your device is involved in one of the recalls.

The iPhone X Display Module Replacement Program

To find out whether your smartphone is part of the iPhone X display module replacement program, you need to have it examined by an authorized representative. Before having it checked, though, you should back up your phone to iTunes or iCloud.

You can take your phone to an Apple retail store or an Apple-authorized service provider for examination. Alternatively, you can mail it to the Apple Repair Center. You have up to three years from when you purchased your phone to have it examined for this defect. If you already replaced your display module because of this flaw, you can ask Apple for a refund.

The MacBook Pro SSD Service Program

The 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops involved in the MacBook Pro SSD service program have 128 gigabyte (GB) and 256 GB solid-state drives. These laptops do not have a Touch Bar and were sold between June 2017 and June 2018.

You can easily check to see whether your MacBook Pro laptop is part of the recall. Turn on your laptop and follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen and select “About This Mac”.
  2. Check to see if your model is listed as “MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)” on the “Overview” tab of the window that appears. If so, go to step 3. If a different model is listed, your laptop is not part of the recall.
  3. Obtain your laptop’s serial number, which will also be listed on the “Overview” tab.
  4. Go to the MacBook Pro SSD service program web page that Apple set up.
  5. Enter the serial number in the box provided.
  6. Click the “Submit” button.

If your laptop is part of the recall, Apple will fix the SSD problem by updating your drive firmware. You can have this update done at an Apple retail store or through an Apple-authorized service provider. Alternatively, you can mail your laptop to the Apple Repair Center. (If you already paid to have your drive firmware updated because of this issue, you can ask Apple for a refund.)

Before you get your laptop fixed, it is crucial that you back up all the data on it because the SSD will be erased during the repair process. When you get your laptop back, you will need to restore your data from that backup. If you need assistance performing the backup or restoring it, give us a call.