Home Business Software Microsoft pushing Office users to online version

Microsoft pushing Office users to online version

Microsoft Office graphic.

Microsoft has begun a campaign to push users of its Office desktop suite to switch to the online version, Office 365, by claiming that it delivers benefits.

"When customers connect to Office 365 with a legacy version of Office, they’re not enjoying all that the service has to offer," the company's Ron Markezich claimed in a blog post last week.

Markezich wrote that Office 365 ProPlus apps were always connected and hence were always up-to-date and getting better, "with new security features, new telemetry and new management capabilities".

But the company is not only offering a carrot, but also wielding a stick. From 13 October 2020, "Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services", Markezich wrote.

The changes will apply to customers of Office 365 commercial services.

Microsoft also invited its customers to try and switch to alternatives if they so wished.

"We’re providing more than three years’ notice to give IT time to plan and budget for this change," Markezich wrote.

"Until this new requirement goes into effect in 2020, Office 2010, Office 2013 and Office 2016 perpetual clients will still be able to connect to Office 365 services."

 Connectivity to Office 365

Impact of change

Technical implications

Recommended actions

Office 365 ProPlus or mainstream Office clients

No change

Plan for regular updates to stay within support window

No action required

Office clients outside mainstream support

Client connectivity no longer available

Office desktop client applications, such as Outlook, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business clients will not connect to Office 365 services

Upgrade to current version of ProPlus or mainstream Office clients or use browser or mobile apps

Browser and mobile apps

No change

No change

No action required

Office desktop clients outside mainstream support not using Office 365

No change

Set your own desktop upgrade timeline, in line with your on-premises server upgrades. When planning to move to Office 365 services, an Office client upgrade will be required

No action required

Table courtesy: Microsoft

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.