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Changes to Office and Windows servicing and support

Delivering a secure and productive modern workplace is a top priority for many of our commercial customers, and we’re committed to help. Last July, we took a big step forward in this journey with the introduction of Microsoft 365, a new product suite that brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security.  Many customers are in the process of moving to one or more of these products, and they’ve asked us to clarify a few key points to help them with their upgrades.  Today – two years before the end of extended support for Windows 7 and Office 2010 (January and October 2020, respectively) – we’re announcing servicing extensions for Windows 10, changes to the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements, and new details on the next perpetual release of Office and Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release of Windows.

Servicing extensions for Windows 10

Windows 10 is being adopted rapidly by organizations of all sizes, and as customers deploy the product they are implementing a modern servicing methodology we refer to as Windows as a service.

Many customers – including MARS, Independence Blue Cross, and Accenture – have made significant progress in moving to Windows as a Service, but some have requested an extension to the standard 18 months of support for Windows 10 releases.  To help these customers, we are announcing an additional six months of servicing for the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10, versions 1607, 1703, and 1709. (Additional servicing for Windows 10, version 1511 was announced in November.)  This extension will be offered via normal channels.  The chart below outlines the impact of these extensions for each of the last four Windows 10 releases.

Release Release date End of support End of additional servicing for Enterprise, Education
Windows 10, version 1511 November 10, 2015 October 10, 2017 April 10, 2018
Windows 10, version 1607 August 2, 2016 April 10, 2018 October 9, 2018
Windows 10, version 1703 April 5, 2017 October 9, 2018 April 9, 2019
Windows 10, version 1709 October 17, 2017 April 9, 2019 October 8, 2019

We will also offer additional paid servicing options for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education releases starting with Windows 10 version 1607. For more information, contact your Microsoft account team.

Updates on the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements

Office 365 ProPlus delivers cloud-connected and always up-to-date versions of the Office desktop apps. To ensure that customers get the most secure and efficiently managed experience from ProPlus and Windows 10 together, we are providing updates on the Windows system requirements for Office 365 ProPlus.

  • To clarify our current support practices for ProPlus running on Windows 10, ProPlus will not be supported on Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) versions that are no longer being serviced.
  • Effective January 14, 2020, ProPlus will no longer be supported on the following versions of Windows. This will ensure that both Office and Windows receive regular, coordinated updates to provide the most secure environment with the latest capabilities.
    • Any Windows 10 LTSC release
    • Windows Server 2016 and older
    • Windows 8.1 and older

We recognize that some of our customers deliver Office to their users via Remote Desktop and VDI. Later this year, Microsoft will deliver new Remote Desktop and desktop virtualization capabilities within the SAC release cadence of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Server. Join the Windows Server Insider program to get early access to these capabilities.

To learn more about these updates, visit the support page.  And to ask the experts, visit the Office Apps Tech Community page.

New details on the next perpetual release of Office and LTSC release of Windows 10

We recognize that some customers aren’t ready to move to the cloud and will instead choose to deploy on-premises or hybrid architectures.  For those customers, we’re announcing new details on the next perpetual release of Office and LTSC release of Windows 10.

Office 2019

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:

  • 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
  • The Office 2019 client apps will be released with Click-to-Run installation technology only. We will not provide MSI as a deployment methodology for Office 2019 clients. We will continue to provide MSI for Office Server products.

Modern software not only provides new features to help people do their best work, but also new, more efficient manageability solutions and more comprehensive approaches to security. Software that is more than a decade old, and hasn’t benefited from this innovation, is difficult to secure and inherently less productive. As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence. In the past, perpetual versions of Office were released under the Microsoft Fixed Lifecycle Policy, with a term of 5 years of standard support and 5 years of extended support. Office 2019 will ship under a separate term with a reduced extended support period:

  • Office 2019 will provide 5 years of mainstream support and approximately 2 years of extended support. This is an exception to our Fixed Lifecycle Policy to align with the support period for Office 2016. Extended support will end 10/14/2025.
  • There is no change to the support term for existing versions of Office.

Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018

The next LTSC release, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018, will be available in the fall of 2018.  In keeping with the previous Long-Term Servicing Channel releases, this release will have the same features as the Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel release made available at the same time – with the usual exceptions (including apps that are often updated with additional functionality, including the in-box apps, Microsoft Edge, and Cortana).  This new release will also add support for the latest generations of processors, per the standard silicon support policy.  This release of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC will be released under our fixed lifecycle policy with a term of 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support.

 

For more information, We are here to help you!