Posted by: kurtsh | January 24, 2017

INFO: Office 2013 ProPlus will no longer be covered by mainstream support

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Attention Office 365 admins—Do you have users still running Office 2013 ProPlus? If so, please read on…

If your organization has deployed Office ProPlus from your Office 365 subscription, you may still have some users who are running Office 2013 ProPlus. Not only are these users missing out on the new capabilities in Office 365, like Groups and Skype for Business, but there is something more important for you to be aware of…the end of mainstream support for Office 2013 ProPlus.

As of February 28th, 2017, Office 2013 ProPlus will no longer be covered by mainstream support. Users running Office 2013 ProPlus will still receive critical security updates, but they will no longer receive product updates for new features that are added to the service. There is no automatic way to move from Office 2013 to Office 2016; however, Microsoft is here to help you transition to 2016 so you get access to mainstream support, as well as the latest features the service has to offer.

Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Get familiar with the Office channel release model. Office 2016 is shipping in multiple channels. These different release channels allow you to control who in your organization gets the latest release, based on your needs.

The First Release for Deferred Channel (FRDC) enables you to configure (per user) a group of early adopters. This group will get the latest and greatest features four months in advance of a Deferred Channel (DC) release. Premier Support escalates any cases related to the FRDC build directly to the Office engineering team, so that issues can be addressed prior to the DC release.

The DC is made available only a few times a year (instead of every month) and is best for organizations that don’t want to deploy the latest features of Office right away or that have a significant number of LOB applications, add-ins, or macros that need to be tested. This approach helps to avoid compatibility issues that can potentially stall deployments.

Start testing FRDC now, if you plan to roll out the DC June release. TechNet has more information about channel release models.

2. Determine which of your users are still running Office 2013. Upgrading from Office 2013 to Office 2016 is not an automated process. If you are an Office 365 admin, you need to determine which of your users are still running Office 2013. Once you have identified these users, you will need to uninstall Office 2013 and reinstall Office 2016 for each of them.

3. Start a group of users on the First Release builds. This group could include the IT team or early adopters, and gives them an opportunity to get comfortable with the new capabilities and test any LOB integrations that are critical to your business.

If your users find any potential issues, they can open a CSS support incident. We actively monitor First Release tickets to more quickly escalate issues to the product engineering team.

4. Contact the FastTrack Center to get assistance for your Office 365 ProPlus deployment. They will provide assistance to help you upgrade 2013 clients to 2016 and ensure you are on the latest service managed client. You can review the FastTrack Benefit Overview to learn more about how to work remotely with Microsoft specialists to get your Office 365 environment ready for use, as well as to plan rollout and usage within your organization.

The FastTrack Center can provide you with assistance in testing, repackaging, and distributing Office 365 2016 ProPlus or help you to validate your deployment approach with a Microsoft engineer. To request assistance, go to the FastTrack site, select the Services tab, and submit the Request Office 2016 ProPlus Upgrade Assistance form.


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