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Office 365 compatibility changes 2020

As the title suggests, there will be some major changes to Microsoft Office in 2020.
03.03.20 AAG Digital

As the title suggests, there will be some major changes to Microsoft Office in 2020. However, in this article we’re going to be focusing on one change in particular. That change relates to compatibility. In 2020, Microsoft are planning to change the requirements to connect with Office 365 services, meaning you may have to make some changes to continue using the service in the way you do.

What is the change?

The change will require users to upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus or an Office perpetual license that still receives mainstream support (the first 5 years of the product lifecycle), if they have not already. In other words, users with older versions of Office 365 will need to upgrade or sign up to an Office 365 ProPlus subscription to continue to use certain features.

Who will it affect?

The changes will affect anyone using Office 2010, 2013 or 2016 perpetual licences and connects to online Office 365 services like SharePoint or Exchange Online, or that uses applications like Outlook or Skype.

What will actually change?

Microsoft have stated that if you are using a legacy office perpetual license then applications like Outlook, OneDrive for business and Skype for business will not connect to Office 365 service.

Office 365 is designed to be compatible on and make use of features only found in updated browsers and newer versions of Office. By allowing the use of older perpetual licenses, certain offerings cannot be optimised due to compatibility issues resulting in poorer security and end user experience.

When will it change?

The change is scheduled to take place on 13th October 2020. If you are in the group of people who are going to be affected by the change, then Microsoft has encouraged you to update by this date to avoid any issues or loss of services.

Our advice

To put it simply there’s not a lot of advice to give. It really depends on whether or not you need the applications that you’ll be losing should you choose to do nothing. Otherwise there is not really much option but to upgrade to either Office 365 ProPlus or Office 2019. The only difference between the two is that Office 365 ProPlus is a subscription and so will keep your applications up to date as new versions are released meaning you won’t ever have to upgrade again. Whereas with Office 2019 there is the likelihood that you’ll have to upgrade again, much like you’re having to do now, when the next version comes out.