Office 2019 will have one big system requirement when it goes into preview next quarter: Windows 10.
Just as Microsoft tied support for the latest microprocessors to Windows 10, Office 2019 will run only on a supported Windows 10 OS.
While Microsoft hasn’t said specifically what features will be showcased within the new apps, the company said in a blog post on Thursday that preview versions of the new apps will be available during the second quarter. As Microsoft previously confirmed, the final version of Office 2019 will ship during the second half of 2018.
The Windows 10 requirement is new, and it specifies any currently supported version that is updated on a semi-annual basis with new feature updates—basically Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. “Software that is more than a decade old, and hasn’t benefited from this innovation, is difficult to secure and inherently less productive,” Microsoft said. “As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence.”
Microsoft also said that it won’t be shipping Office using the older MSI installer—the apps will all use the Click-to-Run installer, which is commonly used by Office 365.
Microsoft will provide Office 2019 with five years of mainstream support and an additional two years of extended support, ending on Oct. 14, 2025.
Microsoft is also trying to phase out the ProPlus version of Office that isn’t on the same spring and fall upgrade cadence as Windows 10. Though businesses can essentially refuse upgrades—known as the Long Term Stable Channel, or LTSC—LTSC versions of Windows won’t be eligible for the perpetual Office updates after Jan. 14, 2020.
What this means for you: The biggest change is for holdouts clinging to Windows 8.1 or even Windows 7. They will be shut off from Office 2019. For those already on Windows 10, it’s quid-pro-quo: Microsoft will update Office if you update your Windows 10 PC regularly.