Microsoft Announces New, Less Intrusive Office 365 Pro Plus Update Schedules

If you weren’t aware, end users customers as part of an Office 365 adoption have a limited time to apply new updates which can cause integration and operational issues if new releases don’t work with customer’s legacy systems.

The reasons for this are based all around user experience and newer updates and releases will contain new features to enhance technical or functional challenges customers may have experienced in the past.  Microsoft is driven on new technology adoption as advocates for new customers as it seems fairly pointless in developing Office 2020 if 95% of the user base are still using Office 2010!

On April 20th 2017, Microsoft announced the following changes to this:

  • Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support required to connect to Office 365 services. Starting October 13, 2020, Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services. Office 365 ProPlus will deliver the best experience, but for customers who aren’t ready to move to the cloud by 2020, we will also support connections from Office perpetual in mainstream support;
  • Applies to Office 365 commercial services only. This update does not change our system requirements or support policies for the Office perpetual clients, Office perpetual clients connecting to on-premises servers, or any consumer services;
  • More than three years’ notice. We’re providing more than three years’ notice to give IT time to plan and budget for this change. 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;
  • Two updates a year. We will reduce the Office 365 ProPlus update cadence from three to two times a year, with semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus targeted for March and September;
  • 18 months of support. We will extend the support period for Office 365 ProPlus semi-annual updates from 12 to 18 months (starting from first release) so IT professionals can choose to update once or twice a year;
  • System Center Configuration Manager support. System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making it easier to deploy and update the two products together.

The bad news is whilst the changes are being made clearer with less frequency, operational impact is probably unavoidable.

The good news is that SCC has a set of services to ensure you can plan for these changes and deliver a better user experience across all of your internal or external users through:

  • Accredited and experienced professional services across the full Microsoft stack and widened across other vendors and technologies
  • Plan, migrate and manage any route to cloud services and especially managing changes within this change
  • Provide ongoing solution support and assistance to customers in other requirements and further changes that Microsoft implement

Contact SCC today [email protected]

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