As of February 2016, all customers of the Office 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus will be automatically updated to Office 2016, unless you have specifically defined update parameters using the Office Deployment Tool or Group Policy. Without these defined parameters, Office 365 will update itself automatically in the background on a monthly basis, which could cause instability if you have sophisticated Office add-ons.
The Office 365 ProPlus Update Policy
When a customer uses Office 365 products they are agreeing to a much more aggressive update schedule than they have in the past; Microsoft Cloud Products have a different end of life policy than on-premise products, such as Office Professional Plus.
Also to note, previous versions of Office 365 ProPlus will be updated by Microsoft for one year after the release of the next version. Since Office 365 ProPlus 2016 was released in September 2015, update availability for Office 2013 will be available until September 2016, at which point Microsoft will no longer provide updates for the 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus.
Office 365 ProPlus 2016 is available now for your employees to download on their own. If you do not want to allow this, as an administrator on the Office 365 site you will need to disable Office 365 application downloads
Lastly, before updating, be sure you meet the minimum system requirements to ensure that your computers can properly run Office 2016 (2GB RAM | 1280×800 resolution).
Determining Your Office 365 ProPlus Update Path
To reiterate, if a company does not switch over to managing their own update cycle by having a local install and utilizing either Group Policy or the Office Deployment Tool, Microsoft will automatically update Office 365 ProPlus 2013 copies that are receiving updates from the Microsoft servers.
With any new version of Office, many organizations have custom Office applications that need to be tested against the new version before upgrading/deploying. In Office 2016, IT can control how fast its users receive features updates to Office 365 ProPlus. Two of the more standard choices include:
- Current Branch Release – Monthly update to Office 365 ProPlus which contains new or updated features, bug fixes, and security patches.
- Current Branch for Business Release – Receive only security updates for Office 365 ProPlus each month. Throughout the year, Microsoft provides the organization’s IT with the latest Office 365 ProPlus features and bug fixes to test before deploying.
The installation files for Office 365 ProPlus are approximately 850 MB for the core files plus approximately 200 MB for each language deployed. Be sure to identify the best opportunity for applying your update, as the installation of these files will significantly affect network bandwidth.
There are many more things to consider when updating your Office 365 ProPlus tenants. Should you have any questions regarding Office 365 ProPlus 2013 End of Life, click the banner below and complete the following form for a SoftwareONE Technical Specialist to reach out to you.