For almost two decades, Microsoft Office has relied on the Windows Installer (MSI) technology for core deployment functionality. To better address the ever-growing requirements of businesses, Office has continually introduced modern deployment features.
In Microsoft Office 2013, we introduced Click-to-Run, a modern deployment technology that is now delivering Office to hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Beginning in Microsoft Office 2019, we’ll expand the availability of Click-to-Run to all client products. Perpetual volume licensed products will now be able to take advantage of benefits that improve security and ease of use while reducing deployment costs. These benefits include the following:
- Predictable cumulative monthly updates
- Software that is up-to-date immediately upon installation
- Easy upgrade path to Office 365 subscription products
Click-to-Run offers the same enterprise-focused management capabilities as MSI-based products. These include volume activation, Group Policy management, administrative control over updates, and integration with management tools such as System Center Configuration Manager. To help you migrate from older MSI-based products, Click-to-Run also supports in-place upgrade when you move to Microsoft Office 2019 or Office 365.
Beginning in Office 2019, Office client applications will no longer be available in MSI format. This change in deployment technology does not affect how products are licensed or supported. A preview program is available so that you can start to test Office 2019 Preview in your organization. For more information, see How to participate in the Office 2019 Commercial Preview program.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: Can I continue to use my older MSI Office products after Office 2019 is released?
A1: All previously released products will continue to be supported according to the applicable software lifecycle policy. There is no change to existing products such as Office 2013 or Office 2016.
Q2: Does this mean that Office 2019 will be subscription-based? Will the software get new features?
A2: Office 2019 is a perpetually-licensed product similar to previous major versions. It will receive regular security updates but no new features after its release.
Q3: Will Office 2019 require an Internet connection or a user sign-in for product activation?
A3: Office 2019 uses device-based licenses similar to previous major versions. Users will be able to sign in if they want to. However, they are not required to do this. Key Management Service (KMS) and Multiple Activation Keys (MAK) activation are available to volume license users for offline licensing. No Internet connection is required to use the product.
Q4: Does this move to the Click-to-Run deployment model affect Visio or Project? What about Office Server?
A4: There will be no MSI releases for any Office client apps from 2019 onwards. All new Office client apps, including Visio and Project, will be distributed as Click-to-Run exclusively. However, Office Server will remain MSI-based only.
This article applies to:
- Office Professional Plus 2019