Office 2016 and Office 2019 will lose Microsoft 365 connections next year


Office 2016 and Office 2019 will lose Microsoft 365 connections next year

Microsoft reminded organizations using the Office 2016 and Office 2019 productivity suites on Monday that these products will lose connections to Microsoft 365 apps and services starting in October 2023.

At that time, Office 2016 and Office 2019 users will not be able to sign in to Microsoft 365 services such as “Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business,” according to this Microsoft document. The document includes this section which appears to exclude certain exceptions for Microsoft 365 Apps such as Project, Visio, InfoPath 2013, and SharePoint Designer 2013.

This October 2023 end date for connecting to Microsoft 365 services will arrive before both Office products reach their actual end-of-support phases.

For example, Office 2016 and Office 2019 have the same end of support date, which is October 14, 2025. End of support means that the software can still be used but security patches from Microsoft will stop coming.

Office 2013 ending April 2023
A strange aspect regarding Office support is the case of Office 2013 Service Pack 1. This product will no longer be supported on April 11, 2023. However, Microsoft has explicitly stated that its connections to Microsoft 365 services will not be blocked, but there could be “performance and reliability issues”, according to the document:

We will not take any active steps to prevent other versions of the Office client that are still supported and up-to-date, such as Office 2013 with Service Pack 1, from connecting to Microsoft 365 services. But these older clients may experience performance or reliability issues over time.

Microsoft actually stopped adding cloud service enhancements to its older Office customers nearly two years ago, on October 13, 2020, according to the document.

End of support for Windows 8.1 in January
In a somewhat related announcement released earlier this month, Microsoft explained that its older operating systems, such as Windows 8.1 and even older operating systems, will no longer be supported on January 10, 2023. New installations of Microsoft 365 Apps will be blocked for these older OSes on this end of January date.

End of support for Office for Mac
On the macOS side, Office 2016 for Mac is already unsupported, as it is no longer supported on October 13, 2020.

Office 2019 for Mac, however, will no longer be supported on October 10, 2023. Microsoft’s announcement and document did not describe whether this product would also lose connections to the Microsoft 365 service.

Truncated Office media
Many computer stores may be mentally a little unprepared for the truncated Office product support, which was previously 10 years old. They may also be confused by the loss of connections to Microsoft 365 services, which probably seems arbitrary.

Microsoft primarily anticipated this major policy change for its Office products in 2018. The 2018 explanation actually specified an extension of support for truncated Office end dates previously offered by Microsoft.

Microsoft apparently never explained why it was truncating support for its Office products. Moreover, he never explained why Microsoft 365 connections to these products would cease.

Later, in 2021, Microsoft also announced five-year support truncations for its Office products based on a long-term service channel subscription. The explanation offered at the time for the change was that Microsoft wanted to bring its subscription-based Office products in line with the truncated support cycles of its perpetual-licensed Office products. Microsoft also claimed that organizations simply don’t need 10 years of support for Office products.

Business Channel Monthly Push
Microsoft seems to want organizations to switch to its subscription-based Office products instead of using perpetual ones. The ad touted the use of Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, for example. It is a subscription-based Office product that installs via Microsoft’s “Click to Run” streaming technology.

Also, Microsoft really wants organizations to adopt the “Monthly Enterprise Channel” to get Microsoft 365 Apps updates. Microsoft wants organizations to make extensive use of this channel. For example, earlier this year, Microsoft informed organizations using the “Semi-Annual Channel” that it would switch them in May to the Monthly Enterprise Channel if they took no action.

According to Jeremy Chapman, director of Microsoft 365, in a video accompanying Microsoft’s announcement, the semi-annual channel is for medical devices only.

“The Semi-Annual Channel is really for specialty devices like factory PCs or shared medical devices,” Chapman said, according to Microsoft’s transcript.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media’s Converge360 group.

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