Monday, December 14, 2015

Office 2016 upgrades for Office 365 ProPlus are coming!

If you are an Office 365 ProPlus customer, there is some new planning information that has been published to help get you prepared for the Office 2016 release of Office 365 ProPlus.  Here are some important things that stood out to me.
  • Which Update Branch do you want to use? – There is a new capability that allows you tactically control what types of updates you want push down to devices that have Office 365 ProPlus installed.  Specifically, there is new a delineation between security updates versus feature/bug fix updates.  Some customers want to delay feature/bug fix updates in favor of getting security updates pushed out quickly.  This is a new configuration needs into the Office Deployment Tool.  This is called Current Branch versus Current Branch for Business.
  • New Office Deployment Tool – Yes there is a new tool you need to pull down and work with.
  • How long is Office 2013 still good? - Office 2013 version of Office 365 ProPlus can be used until February 2017.  After that, there will be no longer updates to the Office 2013 version.  This gives enterprise organizations time to roll out Office 2016 to their desktops as a majority of enterprise customers control how updates are pushed.
  • Can you still control updates to 2016 off internal network? – Absolutely, that process does not change.  You still need to do some updates with the Office 2016 Deployment Tool.
  • Downloading Office from Portal – Users that go to the portal will get Office 2013 until Feb 2016.  After that, Office 2016 client would be available for download.
Some other side notes:
  • ProPlus InfoPath 2013 – Note is not part of the Office 2016 Office 365 ProPlus install.  If users still need it, it is available for individual install through the Software page in the Office 365 portal.
  • ProPlus Visio / Project 2013 – Apparently when you upgrade to Office 2016 with Pro ProPlus, the Office 2013 ProPlus Versions of Visio and Project will be removed.  It is not possible to re-install those 2013 version.  You do have the ability to upgrade to Office 2016 ProPlus versions of Visio and Project.
Prepare to upgrade Office 365 ProPlus to the Office 2016 version -
Overview of update branches for Office 365 ProPlus -

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