Windows 10 overtakes 7 as Microsoft's biggest OS

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Past year at Ignite, we announced Office 2019 - the next perpetual version of Office that includes apps (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and Skype for Business) and servers (including Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business). But when they do launch, PC owners who want the latest standalone Office apps, rather than the subscription-based Office 365, need either Windows 10 or the next Long-Term Servicing version of Windows Server.

Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7 in terms of worldwide market share, two and a half years since Microsoft released its current operating system.

Microsoft says that Office 2019 apps will be supported on any supported Windows 10 SAC [Semi-Annual Channel] release, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018 and the next LTSC release of Windows Server. However mainstream support will remain the same at five years. There will also be server enhancements that improve IT manageability, voice, usability, and security.

Most importantly for IT pros is that Microsoft is planning to permit installations of Office 2019 only through its "click-to-run" streaming technology. "Software that is more than a decade old, and hasn't benefited from this innovation, is hard t secure and inherently less productive", they said.

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Windows 10 might finally be the most popular version of Windows out there. This is different from how they treated Office 2016 and other past versions of Office where they were given 5 years of standard support and 5 years of extended support.

The desktop Office suite will be supported for quite a while to come for the simple reason that despite the fact that Microsoft, Google et al, would like you to think that cloud alternatives are better, there'll always be a market for the apps.

On average, a release took about three years from inception to completion but only about six to nine months of that time was spent developing "new" code. Others have already moved to Windows 10, but plenty are still on Windows 7 or 8.1 - or even Windows XP in some cases.

There is no change to the support term for existing versions of Office. DirectX 12, a graphics library used by developers to render all the fancy polygons and effects you see in modern games, is only available on Windows 10. Windows 10 Pro S will cost $49 to convert to regular Windows 10 Pro.