Office 365 v. Office 2019 – Courseware Challenges

This weeks’ blog comes from the Courseware Corner, as our Head of Courseware Christel Burris, shares some of challenges with Office 365 and Office 2019, which we are sure many of you can relate to! Over to you Christel…

Good Morning!

I am frequently asked the following questions: Do you have Office 365 courseware? Do you have Office 2019 courseware? The short answer is “it’s complicated.” Let me take this moment to explain the difference between Office 365 and Office 2019, as well as the challenge we, as TutorPro Instructional Designers, have when developing courseware for software that is subscription-based. Not only do these challenges apply to Microsoft products but all subscription-based applications, including Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and NetDocuments.

Office 2019 (or Office 2016, for that matter) is a “subset” of Office 365. Office 365 is a cloud-based, subscription service that includes online AND installed applications for Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Word, and Teams. The Office 365 subscription service is paid per user per month or year. Having a subscription service means that incremental updates are automatically installed on your computer by Channel depending on the type of subscription you have with Microsoft. You can find a list of Channel types here.

Office 2019 (without the cloud-based services) can also be purchased as a perpetual license. A perpetual license is a snapshot of the state of the Office 365 installed applications. This means that you can use the product until hell freezes over and you will always be, except for security releases, at Office 2019. When (or if) you want to update to a newer version, you must purchase a new perpetual license for that specific version. It is my understanding that there will be one more perpetual release Office license available after Office 2019 (but don’t quote me on that). After that, the only path to Office products will be an Office 365 subscription. But how does that affect us when developing courseware?

The challenge we face when developing eLearning for subscription-based content is “where do we halt progress.” Developing Office content is a long process that can take six months. During that time, Office applications can be updated multiple times.

As we’ve begun work on our Office 2019 courseware, we have decided to disable updates at a specific Version and Build number (yet to be determined) once we start capturing screen shots. This will ensure consistency and enable us to communicate to you the specific Version and Build of Office 365/2019 we used for capturing. This will ensure compliance and continuity with both Office 365 and Office 2019.

Therefore, the answer to both questions: Do you have Office 365 courseware? Do you have Office 2019 courseware?, … YES! Our Office content will now be branded with the build number, so you know for sure what you’re getting when you subscribe to our courseware.

Thanks Christel! If anyone has any questions for Christel, or would like more information about our courseware solutions, please feel free to reach out to