In February 2017 Microsoft ended support for Office 2013 Office 365 Pro Plus, Small Business Premium, Business, Project Pro, and Visio Pro subscriptions. This means the client application and language packs are no longer available for installation from the Office 365 Admin center, no features updates will be released for these versions and Microsoft Premier Support or Customer Service and Support divisions will not offer support on these products. Microsoft will however provide critical and important security updates for these versions until April 2023. With this news upgrading your end users to the latest version, Office 2016, should definitely be on your IT departments roadmap.
Moving from Office 2013 to 2016
Office 2016 is shipping with different channels that you should be aware of if you are going to transition to it. There is the current channel, deferred channel and first release for deferred channel. First Release for Deferred Channel - This channel will receive updates every few months or so, this channel will release updates before the deferred channel. Features will be rolled out to this channel approximately four months before they are rolled out to the deferred channel. Deferred Channel - This channel will receive updates every four months or so, this channel won't have all the latest features when they are released but it will also businesses to roll out a stable edition that won't change very often and minimise compatibility issues Current Channel - This channel will receive updates almost monthly. This channel should be used if you want to give your users the latest features as soon as they are available and you don't have any line of business applications that could have compatibility issues.
Why move to Office 2016?
So why move to Office 2016? Some of the new features that are available within Office 2016 are:
- Simplified sharing of large files via OneDrive
- You can search the Internet for snippets of information from within Word and use them in your documents
- New charts are available within Excel to help you visualise your data in new ways
- Various desktop apps now let you jump straight to a Skype call or start an IM conversation with your colleagues
And as I blogged about back in September 2016, these new features are now available in Outlook - http://www.techielass.com/2016/09/new-outlook-features.html
Moving to Office 2016
If you are looking to move to Office 2016 it's worth remembering that it needs the following specs:
- 1 GHz processor
- 2GB RAM
- 3 GB of available disk space
- 1280 x 800 screen resolution
- Windows 7 OS, or above
And it doesn't support Exchange 2007, so if you are still running that in your environment you will need to consider an upgrade before you transition to Office 2016. Microsoft are offering a FastTrack migration service to organisations to help them move from one version of Office to another To make the transition process smoother, Microsoft is offering FastTrack migration, a service providing organizations with the tools to help them make the move from one Office version to another at the moment. For further information on that offer visit http://fasttrack.microsoft.com/office/onboard/50