Office 365 ProPlus Updates

Microsoft has released new models, requirements, and tools ease deployment and management.

Overview of the upcoming changes to Office 365 ProPlus update management

Office 365 ProPlus delivers cloud-connected and always up-to-date versions of Microsoft’s most valuable enterprise apps. Today, we’re making three important announcements related to Office 365 Pro Plus:

  • Changes to Office 365 system requirements
  • Improvements to the Office 365 ProPlus update model, including alignment with Windows 10
  • New tools and programs to manage Office 365 ProPlus application compatibility

Office 365 system requirements’ changes

Starting October 13, 2020, Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support will be required to connect to Office 365 services. These new requirements can help you standardize your customers’ desktop environments to tap into the full value of Office 365 services.

  • Applies to the Office 365 Commercial Service only. This update doesn’t change 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. So, you can help your customers plan and budget for this change. Until this new requirement goes into effect, Office 2010, Office 2013, and Office 2016 perpetual clients will still be able to connect to Office 365 services.

Improvements to the update model, including Windows 10 alignment

Targeting September 2017, Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10 update models will align, making it easier for you to plan for and manage Office and Windows updates for your customers who use Secure Productive Enterprise.

  • Two times a year. The update cadence for Office 365 ProPlus will be reduced from the current three times a year to two times a year; semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus are targeted for March and September.
  • Eighteen months of support. The total support period for Office 365 ProPlus semi-annual feature updates will increase from 12 months to 18 months (starting from first release). So you have the flexibility to choose to update once or twice a year.
  • System Center Configuration Manager. Supports this new, aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making it easier for you to deploy and update the two products together.

New tools and programs to manage application compatibility

When deploying new versions of Office, application compatibility is a primary customer concern. To help you manage your customers’ Office 365 ProPlus application compatibility, there are four new investments.

  • Upgrade assessment tools. Beginning today, you can take advantage of a limited preview of new tools that will catalogue your customers’ add-ins and Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications solutions, identify potential issues with the Office 365 ProPlus upgrade, and recommend steps for remediation.
  •   Application compatibility testing. For each new Office 365 ProPlus release, Microsoft will perform compatibility testing of the most common third-party add-ins, identify potential issues, and take steps to remediate.
  • Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services. New services will be provided to help you monitor your customers’ Office 365 ProPlus deployments and provide visibility into the usage and stability of apps and add-ins.
  • Reporting, tracking, and resolving issues. The current service for reporting, tracking, and resolving application compatibility issues will be improved, identifying the best approaches to remediation by collaborating with customers and ISVs.

Next steps

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