There’s an interesting development on the Windows landscape. It’s also perhaps a “killer reason” for Win10 upgrades. Here ’tis: MS has confirmed that Office 2019 will only be available on devices running Windows 10. Ouch! Those using older Windows versions can’t upgrade. This info appears in a blog post innocuously entitled “Changes to Office and Windows servicing and support.”
Now here’s a blog post that punches way beyond its title’s apparent significance.
Here’s how MS dropped this bomb , and delivered its “No Win10 means no Office 2019” message:
Effective January 14, 2020, [Office 365] ProPlus will no longer be supported on the following versions of Windows. This will ensure that both Office and Windows receive regular, coordinated updates to provide the most secure environment with the latest capabilities.
- Any Windows 10 LTSC release
- Windows Server 2016 and older
- Windows 8.1 and older
That leaves only Windows 10 standing. Not even the oldest versions, witnessed by exclusion of the LTSB, now known as the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) is included. All I can say in response is “Wow!”
If No Win10 Means No Office 2019, Then What?
Obviously, this means that companies that want to stick with Office 365 or standalone installs are going to have to upgrade their PCs to Windows 10. According to the afore-linked blog post, the next Office release will ship in H2 2019, with previews of the new apps and servers (which include Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business) appearing sometime in Q2 2018. Furthermore, here’s the second salvo in MS’s bombing run (emphasis mine):
The Office 2019 client apps will be released with Click-to-Run installation technology only. We will not provide MSI as a deployment methodology for Office 2019 clients. We will continue to provide MSI for Office Server products.
Again: “Wow!” Things are changing big-time in the world of MS software and subscriptions. Methinks the vision of “Windows/Apps as a service” takes another giant leap forward, too. My Win10.guru partner, Kari the Finn, insists that MS will steer its customers of all scales and sizes to Azure AD as well. That makes for a Windows/Office/Azure AD trifecta which, coupled with AutoPilot and InTune, recasts the MS landscapre entirely. I agree. All this stuff lines up far too nicely to be a simple coincidence.
Life in the MS world has just gotten a lot more interesting. Just how interesting remains to be seen. Stay tuned!
PS: Make of this recent MS announcement naming former MS public face of “Windows as a Service” Michael Niehaus to principal program manager on the “modern deployment team” what you like. Notice his emphasis on InTune and AutoPilot in the article. I think it simply proves my point, don’t you?