Microsoft has been trying to entice users to Windows 10 since it launched. Shady tactics such as confusing upgrade buttons got it into a lot of trouble, but now it’s trying a different tactic.

New versions of its Office software will soon be exclusive to Windows 10. This will start with Office 2019, which is set for launch later this year. A build has already rolled out to Insiders for testing, so there’s a good chance the release isn’t too far away.

“Last 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). Today we’re pleased to share the following updates,” said Microsoft.

  • “Office 2019 will ship in H2 of 2018. Previews of the new apps and servers will start shipping in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Office 2019 apps will be supported on:
    • Any supported Windows 10 SAC release
    • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
    • The next LTSC release of Windows Server”

Click-to-Run Technology

The apps will use Click-to-Run installation technology rather than an MSI file, which will only remain for server products. The tech reduces the Office installation time, as well as using virtualization to allow for multiple installs.

The move could push many businesses still on Windows 7 and 8.1 to upgrade, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though Windows 10 has some concerns, it’s hard to argue that’s not more secure, and the extended support cycle for Windows 7 is coming to a close.

It’s also worth noting that this won’t affect business on Microsoft’s cloud subscription model, Office 365. The exception is Office 365 ProPlus, which will become Windows 10 exclusive on January 14, 2020.

Microsoft holds that Windows 10 is being adopted rapidly, but to help more users upgrade to the latest version, it’s making some changes. Windows 10 1511, 1607, 1703, and 1709 will in support for another six months, adding a grace period.

You can find more information about Office 2019 and service extensions on TechNet.