Microsoft to force Office 2019 customers into Windows 10 | Apertura Designs

Microsoft to force Office 2019 customers into Windows 10

The past few days have seen two major announcements in the world of business office software. First, LibreOffice 6 has been released bringing with it many incredible office productivity features for low (or no) cost. Second, Microsoft has announced that the next version of its competing product—Microsoft Office 2019—will only be available for Windows 10.

Microsoft's aim is to boost Windows market adoption by forcing businesses dependent on Microsoft Office into expensive Windows 10 license purchases. Locking customers into products and then imposing costly, unnecessary upgrades is widely understood to be a core Microsoft tactic. Customers, however, ultimately bear the brunt of this intentional limiting of choice with drastically increased costs; even for small companies, the bill for Windows upgrades in this case is likely thousands of dollars. It's a method Microsoft has deliberately used for decades—and with the advent of subscription-only products (such as Office 365) one that will be used with increasing frequency going forward.

Fortunately, open source is the perfect antidote to Microsoft's anti-choice, anti-customer approach. Aside from containing a full set of professional features at unbelievably low cost, LibreOffice 6 is available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows 10). Business owners can therefore protect their original investment in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 by upgrading to a fully modern office suite without having to engage in an associated expensive Windows 10 upgrade. An added benefit is that existing Microsoft Office documents can still be accessed by using LibreOffice's outstanding compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats; in most cases, .docx and .xlsx files will open in LibreOffice 6 with perfect fidelity.

With Microsoft's changes to occur within the next year, it's a perfect time to start investigating a switch.

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