Office 2019 Preview is now available to download

Excel 2019

We already knew that Microsoft was planning to release previews of Office 2019 towards the middle of this year, and now the first one is here -- for some people, at least.

Microsoft has unveiled the Office 2019 Commercial Preview, and this is a chance for businesses to try out the latest version of the office suite. The PC version of the suite is a Windows 10 exclusive. Read on to find out how to get your hands on the software -- if, indeed, you can.

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Included in the preview are updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access, Project, Visio and OneNote, and while there is only a PC version available at the moment, Microsoft promises that Mac preview will appear in the coming months. Writing on the Office blog, Microsoft's Jared Spataro says:

This milestone is the first in a series of preview announcements for the Office 2019 wave, and in the coming months we'll release previews of Office 2019 for Mac, Exchange 2019, SharePoint 2019, Project Server 2019, and Skype for Business 2019.  Office 365 ProPlus delivers the most productive and most secure Office experience -- with the lowest TCO for deployment and management.  But for customers who aren't yet ready to move to the cloud, Office 2019 provides an update to the perpetual apps with new features for both end users and IT.

Office 2019 delivers new features to help end users create amazing content in less time. Updates include new and improved inking features across the apps, like the roaming pencil case, pressure sensitivity, and tilt effects; more powerful data analysis in Excel, like new formulas, new charts, and Power BI integration; and sophisticated presentation features in PowerPoint, like Morph and Zoom. These features are already included in Office 365 ProPlus but are not available in Office 2016.

More information about what's included in this preview can be found in the FAQ.

Sadly for most people, the Office 2019 Commercial Preview is not something that is being made available to everyone. Microsoft explains that "this preview program is intended only for organizations that plan to deploy the perpetual (volume licensed) version of Office 2019 when it's released later this year."

Businesses wanting to try out the preview need to be signed up for Microsoft Collaborate, and they will then have the option of joining the Office 2019 Commercial Preview.

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