Office 365 administrators, get ready! Microsoft are soon to be ending the support for Office 2013 client apps which was previously distributed through Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity services.
Now, administrators and users will start to get diverted to Office 2016, which is the latest version of the productivity suite, also includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
As of the 28th February, users will not be able to download the Office 2013 apps from either Office 365 self-service portal or the Office 365 Admin Centre. There will also be no feature for those products and Microsoft will not be providing support through Customer Service Support or Premier Support.
Back in September 2015, Microsoft had released Office 2016, the new version of its productivity software suite for Mac and Windows. However, Microsoft have been busy rolling out the new features for those apps but has also been keeping the previous versions available for the non-migrated businesses.
Administrators, now only just have a little over a month to make sure that they install all of the copies they need of Office 2013.
All of the migrations to Office 2016 will be tough work because the apps look and behave differently from the predecessors. This can cause a disruptive change, as people will need to get use to another version of Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint compared to the version they have used before.
There is another hurdle for those administrators who are still using Exchange Server 2007, as Office 2016 client apps which includes Outlook unfortunately doesn’t support connecting Exchange 2007. So, for administrators to have everything working correctly they will need to make sure that they upgrade to a version of Exchange Server that is supported.
For those businesses that still have to migrate their users, Microsoft are offering assistance through their FastTrack migration services. The assistance that is being offered will give administrators access to experts and tools, that can help make the move from one set of client applications to another.
Overall, Office 2016 offers a number of feature improvements compared to its predecessors which includes one that might help with the migration.
A function that is available is “Tell Me” which can be found among other apps and in Windows versions of Outlook, Excel Word and PowerPoint. “Tell Me” lets users search for what they want without having to find it in a nested series of menus.
Finally, Microsoft will still continue to issue the critical and important security updates to Office 2013 until the 10th April 2018. Those businesses who currently have Office 2013 installed will be able to keep it running until then without the fear of gaping security holes.