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Office 2019 Commercial C2R Preview is Here, with Skype for Business 2019 Client

Office 2019 Perpetual Volume Licence Commercial Preview is here. It is the next perpetual release of Office, the one where you buy a “product” rather than subscribing to Office 365 Pro Plus. It’s the next Office upgrade for customers who don’t want to subscribe to the cloud version. Office 2019 will be released in the second half of 2018.

If you use Office 365 ProPlus, you already have access to the latest features. Many of these features are not included in Office Perpetual products. This preview isn’t intended for Office 365 subscribers.

The following Office products are available as part of the Office 2019 Preview:

  • Office Professional Plus 2019 Preview
    • Includes Access, Excel, OneNote (2016), Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, and Skype for Business.
  • Project Professional 2019 Preview
  • Visio Professional 2019 Preview

Some notes:

  • All products in the Office 2019 Preview are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions
  • Office 2019 Preview can only be installed on Windows 10
  • Office 2019 is Click-to-Run (C2R) only
  • The major version of Office 2019 Preview is staying at 16.0.
  • Currently, Office 2019 Preview is only for installations on Windows desktops. We expect Office 2019 Preview for Mac to be available in the coming months.
  • Microsoft Office 2019 will provide five (5) years of mainstream support and two (2) years of extended support as an exception to the 10-year Fixed Lifecycle Policy term. This seven-year term will align with the support period for Microsoft Office 2016.

After Office 2019 is released, it won’t receive any new features. Office 2019 will include some, but not all, features that have been released through Office 365 since September 2015 (when Office 2016 was released).

Official blog here:

Office 2019 Commercial Preview frequently asked questions:

I’ve installed it. So far there is not a great deal to see. As you would expect, it looks like essentially a cut of Office Pro Plus.



Skype for Business is there. Clicking around I couldn’t see anything new.

Here is the version information from Word:


OneNote 2016 in Office 2019

As mentioned in a previous post, Microsoft is pushing all OneNote development into the new Windows 10 app, but OneNote 2016 is included in this Office 2019 build “out of the box”, for those who prefer the desktop app. Here is OneNote 2016 in Office 2019:

How to get the Preview

Interested in testing? To access this Office 2019 build, you need to join the Office 2019 Commercial Preview program via Microsoft Collaborate, which is a developer access program. It’s free to sign up here

If you are signing up from an Office 365 domain you must be a global administrator. Once signed in you will see the Office 2019 Commercial Preview under Engagements.


Once joined you can see the packages:




Before installing, edit the configuration XML. There are instructions in the documentation, but I used the following:


<Add OfficeClientEdition=”32″ Channel=”Perpetual2019“>
<Product ID=”ProPlus2019Volume”  PIDKEY=”INPUT KEY IN DOCUMENTATION” >
<Language ID=”en-us” />

<!–  <Updates Enabled=”TRUE” Channel=”Monthly” /> –>

<!–  <Display Level=”None” AcceptEULA=”TRUE” />  –>

<!–  <Property Name=”AUTOACTIVATE” Value=”1″ />  –>



All three Office 2019 Preview products (Office Professional Plus 2019 Preview, Visio Professional 2019 Preview, and Project Professional 2019 Preview) are included in the download, regardless of which products you specify in the configuration.xml file.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.


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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions