Microsoft extends Windows 10 support and makes Office 2019 a Windows 10 exclusive

Windows 10 and Office 2019

If you're thinking about upgrading to Office 2019 when it is released in the second half of 2018, you'll have to make sure that you have upgraded to Windows 10 first. Microsoft has revealed that Office 2019 will only run on Windows 10 (and the next LTSC release of Windows Server), dropping support for Windows 8.x and earlier.

In the same announcement, Microsoft also revealed that it is extending the support period for Windows 10, following the news that the operating system has finally overtaken Windows 7.

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Now that Windows is a service rather than a standalone product, servicing and support has become a little confusing for some users. Each build of Windows 10 is usually supported for 18 months from release, but Microsoft has decided to extend this by six months for the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10, versions 1607, 1703, and 1709. This is in addition to the previously-announced support extension for 1511.

People using Windows 10 Enterprise and Education versions 1607 and newer have the option of purchasing additional servicing.

The company explains what the changes mean in a table outlining the new end-of-support dates:

Release Release date End of support End of additional servicing for Enterprise, Education
Windows 10, version 1511 November 10, 2015 October 10, 2017 April 10, 2018
Windows 10, version 1607 August 2, 2016 April 10, 2018 October 9, 2018
Windows 10, version 1703 April 5, 2017 October 9, 2018 April 9, 2019
Windows 10, version 1709 October 17, 2017 April 9, 2019 October 8, 2019

At the same time Microsoft gave a little snippet of information about the upcoming Office 2019 release. The latest version of the office suite is due to ship in the second half of this year, and it will only run on Windows 10. The company also says:

The Office 2019 client apps will be released with Click-to-Run installation technology only. We will not provide MSI as a deployment methodology for Office 2019 clients. We will continue to provide MSI for Office Server products.

Office 2019 will have a reduced period of extended support. In what Microsoft describes as "an exception to our Fixed Lifecycle Policy," the suite will have five years of mainstream support, and two years of extended support, ultimately ending on October 14, 2025.

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