Microsoft reveals end-of-support dates for older Office apps accessing 365 services

Older applications connecting to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services to be discontinued on 13 October
(Image: IDGNS)

4 August 2020

Microsoft recently reminded customers that starting 13 October the company will not support older versions of Office applications connecting to Office 365 and Microsoft 365 services.

In a support document dated 20 July, Microsoft listed the applications that will be supported for connecting to Office 365 (and Microsoft 365) services such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

The Office editions left in the cold are those provided with perpetual licenses, where customers paid for once, not repeatedly as for Office or Microsoft 365 subscriptions, including Office 2013 on Windows, which is to receive support until 11 April, 2023; Office 2010 for Windows; and Office 2016 for Mac. The last two exhaust general support on 13 October. (Mac versions of Office are supported for only five years, rather than the decade Windows’ editions receive.)




Although excluding some Office applications from Office 365 service support may seem harsh – especially when those applications are owed years of support – Microsoft softened the blow considerably. “We won’t take any active measures to block other versions of the Office client, such as Office 2013, from connecting to Office 365 services, but these older clients may encounter performance or reliability issues over time,” the company stated in the support document.

With support lost more from omission than commission, Microsoft argued that customers “will almost certainly face an increased security risk” and “find themselves out of compliance” rather than be suddenly suspended from accessing, say, OneDrive.

Microsoft has long played with the support of Office applications connecting to Office 365 services. Three years ago, the company said that perpetual-license versions of Office would be able to connect to Microsoft’s cloud-based services only during the first half of their 10-year support lifecycle. It set 13 October 2020 as the date when the new policy would take effect.

But in September 2018, Microsoft gave Office 2016 a reprieve, saying that that suite would be able to connect to the services through October 2023.

Office 2019’s support for Office and Microsoft 365 services also expires in October 2023.

IDG News Service

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