Office 2019 is finally here – or at least the preview version of the next incarnation of Microsoft’s productivity suite has arrived, albeit with a few caveats. The most important thing to bear in mind is that Microsoft is only allowing business users to have access to the preview; in other words, consumers aren’t invited to the party.
In order to be able to try out Office 2019 in its current beta version, you’ll need to be a business user registered at Microsoft Collaborate, a successor service to Microsoft Connect. To register for Collaborate, you need access to Microsoft's Developer Center Dashboard. Oh, and you’ll need a Microsoft account.
There are some other restrictions worth noting. The Office 2019 preview is only compatible with Windows 10, so if you don't have the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft, you’re out of luck.
Furthermore, if you’re already running Office 365, this isn’t for you – as the new features have already been pushed out to subscription-based users of Microsoft’s productivity software. Whereas Office 365 runs with a subscription model, and new features being constantly delivered, Office 2019 is an entirely different kettle of fish as a standalone version of the suite (which you only have to pay one lump sum for).
So, bearing all that in mind, if you want to have a sneak peek at Office 2019, follow these steps.
1. Register with the Microsoft Developer Center via this link.
2. Once you’re done with registration, log in to the MS Collaborate portal here.
3. Click on Overview on the left-hand side.
4. Select Engagements.
5. Choose Office 2019 Commercial Preview.
6. Click on Show Packages.
7. Choose ‘Office Deployment Tool (Win 32)’ as that’s the installation file.
8. And finally, click the download button.
This will download the installer, which you will later use to install Office. You should also download the Office 2019 Commercial Preview Documentation, a set of documents describing how to use the deployment tool to install the preview, and how to use the System Center Configuration Manager to deploy the beta across different devices.
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