Microsoft has recently announced some changes in support for the various versions of the Office client.
With this announcement, Microsoft is breaking with their traditional 10-year support cycle and reducing the support period for various versions of the desktop client.
At the time of writing, it looks like Microsoft will not actively prevent Office 2013 clients from connecting to Office 365 (at least until 2023).
However, users can expect reduced functionality and connectivity issues from October 2020.
Microsoft 365 Support Termination Dates
The table below details a summary of the current announced support termination dates for the various versions of the office client:
|Product||Mainstream Support||Extended Support||Office 365 Support|
|Office Pro Plus 365||N/A||N/A||N/A|
This is a fairly significant change for Microsoft who traditionally have effectively guaranteed a 10-year lifespan for their products.
While the continuation of Extended support means that Microsoft will continue to offer security and other patches, they are effectively ending support for connectivity to Office 365.
The product will continue to operate, in some cases with reduced functionality, however, any customer contacting Microsoft for troubleshooting help will be asked to upgrade to a supported client.
What do these changes mean?
Effectively, from 2023, only Microsoft 365 Apps for Business/Enterprise are supported for connectivity to the Office 365 platform.
These are the versions of Office received via the various Office 365 subscription plans.
Microsoft have stated that the primary drivers behind this are:
- The increasing loss of functionality on the Office 365 platform for users of older version of Office.
- A desire to increase the security of the platform by maintaining the latest version of Office.
- A move away from the big upgrade cycles customer have experienced in recent years that are extremely disruptive for staff and costly to manage for the business.
How will these changes affect customers?
- Any customer considering an office upgrade project would be advised to consider Office Pro Plus 365 where possible
- Customer with legacy applications requiring older versions of Office should start planning for the change. There are multiple mechanisms to achieve this and Evros can help with these scenarios.
- Review any complex macro usage for potential conflict and plan for upgrading.
- Review any Office plug-in that are in use and check for compatibility and/or upgrade.
Customers who have a need to retain traditional versions of Office 365 also need to carefully consider licensing models to ensure that you retain the rights to use these older versions of Office.
Upgrading your environment and implementing the necessary changes for ensuring continued support will take time and careful planning.
Waiting until October 2020 and beyond to make these upgrades could leave your data exposed and your organisation vulnerable.
There are multiple ways you can ensure your environment is upgraded and secure and our experienced team can help you find the best route for your business.
- We have a proven track record in delivering Microsoft technologies for the last 20+ years
- Evros is Microsoft Gold certified across a range of key technologies
- We have a wide pool of Microsoft consultants, architects, engineers and offer dedicated support
- We also have a dedicated in-house Microsoft Division
- We’re the only Irish partner with extensive capabilities to deliver on hybrid cloud, public cloud as well as our own private cloud