Microsoft Changes Office Licensing

By Richard Bond, Esteem's Pre-Sales Architect

A new announcement from Microsoft has just been made providing advanced notice that by 2020 organisations will need to use either Office 365 ProPlus or Office Perpetual to connect to Office 365 services in mainstream support. This might not sound hugely exciting, but we see plenty of customers running legacy versions of Office due to their heavy use of plugins or macros which they don't have the time or capability to redevelop.

If it wasn't clear before, it certainly is now. With the direction of travel for its connected services such as Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive, Microsoft is going to make it even more compelling for organisations to move to Office 365 rather than retain or refresh their on-premise infrastructure. The impact of licensing changes becomes clearer when you consider the table below which shows that in 2020 only Office 2016 and Office ProPlus will be compatible with online services:

Version Mainstream Support Extended Support
Office ProPlus Ongoing Not applicable
Office 2016 for Windows / Mac October 13, 2020 October 14, 2025
Office 2013 April 10, 2018 April 11, 2023
Office 2011 for Mac October 10, 2017 Not applicable
Office 2010 & Office Starter Expired October 13, 2020
Office 2007 Expired April 11, 2017


This may sound like it's a way off, but the effort required to redevelop plugins or macros, or work with vendors to ensure support, should not be underestimated. A number of sectors - legal and financial for instance - have industry standard applications that do not work with the current version of Office. Time is running out for application vendors who do not support Office 365.

The full post from Microsoft can be found here.

Share this page:

Get in touch

Get in touch with us by completing the form below and we'll get back to you shortly. Alternatively, you can e-mail us on or call us on 01937 861 000.