Office 2019 will force procrastinating Mac owners to upgrade

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Focus Mode in Word from Office 2019 for Mac
Microsoft Word 2019 requires running a somewhat recent version of macOS.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft clearly expects Office 365 for Mac users to keep their computers at least generally up to date. The company requires users to run macOS Sierra or a newer version to have access to additional features coming next month.

Subscribers who are running 11.12 Sierra or its replacement 11.13 High Sierra in September will get an upgrade from the Office 2016 client to Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac.

The same is true for those who’ve made the jump to macOS 11.14 Mojave. This is also expected to debut next month.

What about the holdouts?

Those who refuse to update from macOS 11.11 El Capitan or earlier aren’t being left completely in the cold. “Users who do not update to macOS 10.12 or later before the September update will still receive mainstream support and will be able to continue using their current version of Office 365 for Mac,” reads an official statement from Microsoft.

Of course, anyone who’ll be affected by this move is still running an operating system that was released in 2015 or before, and was supplanted in 2016.

New in Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac

Microsoft isn’t making a secret of the new features coming in macOS client of Office 2019. A preview of the suite was released early this summer.

A roaming pencil case and ribbon customizations are coming to all Office apps. In addition, there’s a focus mode coming in Word, while Excel is getting new charts and functions.

PowerPoint users can look forward to Morph transitions and 4k video export. And Microsoft is bringing focused inbox to Outlook, as well as Send Later.

Personal subscriptions to Office 365 start at $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year. A five-user Home license is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.