Microsoft gave IT and enterprises a three year notice on an upcoming policy change to Microsoft Office. According to a post to the Office blog, there are three changes coming with Office:
1. Office 365 Requirements
Office 365 ProPlus is the continually updated version of Office that you get with a subscription. If you buy the traditional Office 2016 Professional Plus, you are buying the perpetual license. Beginning on October 13, 2020, you will have to have Office 365 ProPlus or a version of Office with perpetual licensing that is still in mainstream support. The current version of Microsoft Office, Office 2016 will fall out of mainstream support and enter extended support on October 13th, 2020.
If you wish to stick with perpetual licensing and use Office 365 services in conjunction, you will need to upgrade to the next version of Office 2019, Office 2020, or whatever they end up calling it. The use of Office 365 services is the only portion impacted. The software will continue to function for local and on-premise servers while also still getting security updates.
2. Office 365 ProPlus Updates
Office 365 ProPlus will revise its update model to sync up with Windows 10 for two updates a year (a decrease from three updates a year) aiming for March and September. Each update will get 18 months of support to allow IT pros to update once or twice a year. SCCM will support the new update model, further simplifying deployment.
3. Office 365 ProPlus Application Compatibility
New tools were launched in preview to assist with assessing ability to upgrade. Microsoft will be testing the most common third-party add-ins with each new release. New services to monitor deployment and usage will be provided, including telemetry for reporting, tracking, and resolving application compatibility issues.