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Microsoft: Go old-school to lock down Office from changes

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 8, 2015
Recommends enterprises stick with one-time licenses of Office Professional Plus 2016 -- not an Office 365 subscription -- if they want to keep the suite static.

Microsoft would not state outright that it will do a follow-up to Office 2016 in a one-time license format. "We're always evaluating our product portfolio, but we don't have anything new to share today," a spokeswoman said when asked whether Microsoft would commit to continuing Office perpetual licenses. "Our customers' needs will continue to guide any future product decisions."

Consumers are in somewhat the same boat as Microsoft's commercial customers, in that they can only block changes to Office 2016 by purchasing a one-time license and ignoring Office 365. Subscribers to Office 365 Home and Personal, the $100- and $70-per-year consumer plans, will begin to be automatically updated to Office 2016 this month.

Consumers on those plans will be on the CB brand -- no option for the CBB -- and so will receive changes each month that must be applied before the next month's CB comes out.

Buying Office Home & Student 2016 ($150) or Home & Business 2016 ($230) for either Windows or OS X, or Office Professional 2016 ($400) on Windows only, will be the only way for consumers or very-small businesses to lock down their suites.

Office CB and CBB
Microsoft has recommended that enterprises which want to lock down Office 2016 to block the changes delivered via an Office 365 subscription -- the update/upgrade cadence is explained in this chart -- steer instead toward one-time licenses of Professional Plus 2016. That license will be equivalent to Windows 10's Long-term servicing branch, or LTSB. Click on image to enlarge. Credit: Microsoft

 

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