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Microsoft announce changes to Windows 10, Office 365 and Office 2019

Microsoft ChangesMicrosoft published a new blog post on February 1, 2018 and it is packed full on information relevant to the world of ITAM.

Up to now, each release of Windows 10 has come with an 18-month support schedule. Now, in response to requests from large corporate customers, Microsoft have announced an additional 6 months of “servicing” for certain Windows 10 Enterprise and Education releases.

The included versions, and the new support end dates are:


Release Release date End of Support End of additional servicing
Windows 10, 1607 August 2, 2016 April 10, 2018 October 9, 2018
Windows 10, 1703 April 5, 2017 October 9, 2018 April 9, 2019
Windows 10, 1709 October 17, 2017 April 9, 2019 October 8, 2019


Pay more, get more

It was also announced that “additional paid servicing options” will be available for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education, from version 1607 onwards.

For more details, Microsoft say to “contact your account team” – if you do, please be sure to let me know what you find out!

Office 365 Pro Plus – what is supported

Microsoft have clarified that Office 365 Pro Plus is not supported on versions of Windows 10 that are no longer being serviced.

For organisations running both Windows 10 and Office 365 Pro Plus, this means processes must be in place to ensure your ability to keep up with Microsoft’s release pace for the OS. Now that the support period has been extended from 18 to 24 months, this should be easier than before – but is keeping pace with new Windows 10 releases still a potential issue within your organisation?

The year 2020

January 4, 2020 will see several changes occur for Office 365 Pro Plus. From that date, it will no longer be supported on:

  • Windows 10 LTSC* releases
  • Windows Server 2016 and older
  • Windows 8.1 and older

*Long Term Servicing Channel – the new name for LTSB, Long Term Servicing Branch

This means from January 4, 2020 – Office 365 Pro Plus will only run on supported versions of the Windows 10 Operating System.

For those of you who deliver Office via Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and/or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) – Microsoft will be delivering new capabilities for these within Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Server via the Semi-Annual Channel release schedule.

Office 2019

Office 2019, the next perpetual, on-premises release of Microsoft Office will ship in H2 (July – December) of 2018, with previews of apps being available from Q2 (April – June) 2018.

Office 2019 will be supported on:

  • Any supported Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel release
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
  • The next LTSC release of Windows Server

Deployment methods

Office 2019 will only be available as a Click-to-Run (C2R) install. The traditional MSI package will no longer be offered for Office 2019 apps – although it will still be used for Office Server products.

Are there reasons that the Click-to-Run deployment method can’t be used within your organisation?

Changes to Office 2019 support lifecycle

Previous releases of Office have been under the Microsoft Fixed Lifecycle Policy – 5 years of mainstream support + 5 years of extended support. This won’t be the case with Office 2019 which will instead have 5 years of mainstream support + “approximately” 2 years of extended support which Microsoft say will end on October 14, 2025.

Do you currently take advantage of the full 10-year support lifecycle for Microsoft Office? Will Office 2019 having just 7 years in total mean a change within your organisation?

Further Reading

Windows 10 Servicing FAQ –


About Rich Gibbons

Rich has been in the world of IT and software licensing since 2003, having been a software sales manager for a VAR, a Microsoft licensing endorsed trainer, and now an ITAM analyst looking at software licensing and cloud.

A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!

Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. Ian Fischer says:

    Hi Rich

    Useful article. thanks for posting

    On Windows 10 1709 – I think you may have got your columns mixed up?

  2. PetrS. says:

    Thank you for great summary…

  3. Alan Witt says:

    I’m sure we’re not alone in struggling to keep up with the pace of change. Historically we’ve sweated desktop assets and this is proving much harder with these changes to support lifecycles. Our model has always been OEM OS plus perpetual Office, and to sweat the Office version for as long as possible. As a result we’re a “707” organisation (80%+ of assets running Windows 7 OEM and Office 2007). This is cost-effective, not least because our desktop estate is a fixed, depreciating asset funded by Capex, not Opex.

    Moving to subscription-based licensing for Windows/Office is a very significant increase in annual Opex for very little benefit. Whilst 10 is a great OS, Office isn’t worth the investment for the majority of our users. Our challenge is that running supported software versions is increasingly seen as being necessary for regulatory compliance with PCI-DSS and to a lesser extent GDPR.

    The pace of change also means that OEM-licensed hardware becomes harder to keep in support, and the OEM license has less value. I haven’t seen any changes to the Product Terms yet regarding Win 10 OEM but I wonder if it will eventually be the case that qualifying OS version for upgrade licenses will be restricted (i.e. if your box came with 1607 OEM, will it cease to be a qualifying OS when that version exits support)?

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