Microsoft will release Office 2019 in fall of 2018, the successor to its previous bundled release, Office 2016. It includes “significant improvements over Office 2016 and other versions of Office perpetual,” according to the Microsoft support site.
This time around, the suite is specifically geared toward commercial users rather than at-home users. Many of Microsoft’s most popular apps, like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, are getting updates and enhancements, including accessibility improvements. Office 2019 also integrates seamlessly with Windows and connects with a number of business applications.
Microsoft released previews of Exchange 2019 and other Office 2019 server products in July. The Microsoft Exchange Team made it pretty clear in a blog post that they favor Office 365 over the on-premises apps and services of Office 2019: “We strongly believe Office 365 delivers the best and most cost-effective experience to our customers, but we understand that some customers have reasons to remain on-premises.”
Despite the recent update to Microsoft's on-premises product, there’s still a strong case to be made for Office 365 and hosted exchange.
What’s the Difference Between Office 2019 and Office 365?
The key difference between Office 2019 and Office 365 are the ways in which they are updated and patched as well as the way in which their services are delivered.
Office 2019 requires a one-time purchase and won’t receive feature updates (although you’ll still get quality and security patches). Office 365 is a subscription model service powered by Microsoft cloud that receives ongoing updates — including all the latest new feature enhancements from Microsoft.
Office 365 also grants users access to business cloud features that just aren’t available with the on-premises version, including OneDrive for Business. But perhaps the two most significant Office 365 features for businesses are the automatic updates and the ability to install the software on multiple devices.
These business cloud tools make Office 365 a piece of must-have software for IT departments — easy software management, mobile-first technology an entire company can use, and no more cumbersome manual updates.
In-House Exchange Vs. Hosted Exchange
Ultimately, the decision to keep an in-house exchange server or to use a hosted exchange server depends on a number of factors at your business. There are pros and cons to each approach.
With an in-house exchange server, you have complete control over your IT assets and applications, including Microsoft applications. Microsoft will release updates, but your IT team will be responsible for installing them.
Keeping servers in-house may be an important factor for businesses that hold highly-sensitive data and have an expansive IT team, but it’s costly. Not only is your team responsible for updates, patches, security, and hardware maintenance, you have to purchase all of the required hardware to facilitate your in-house exchange yourself. If you don’t have off-site backup, your business could lose all of its data in the event of a disaster.
With a hosted exchange server, your data is held in the cloud. Security is built-in and data is accessible from anywhere. Microsoft provides all the same features that you’d receive on your in-house exchange server, but it’s updated automatically. You don’t need to purchase and maintain your own hardware.
Hosted exchange is scalable, cost-effective, and secure. It provides enterprise-level tools to businesses of all sizes. Still, some businesses prefer a hybrid solution — storing part of their data in-house and relying on the cloud for the rest.
If you’d like to learn more how Office 2019, Office 365, hosted exchange, and cloud computing can transform your Denver IT, join us at our Lunch and Learn for Office 2019.