Microsoft changes support policy for recent versions of Windows 10, Office 365

Today, Microsoft announced some changes to its support policy for both Windows and Office. The company is granting an extension of Windows 10 support for the most recent three versions of the OS, as long as you're running the Education or Enterprise flavors.

This is nothing new. Support for version 1511 was slated to end in October, and in November, the firm announced an additional six months for that. There was also an extension granted for the original version of Windows 10, now called 1507.

This is the first time that Microsoft has announced an extension for three versions at once though. Support now ends on the following 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


As usual, the reason for the changes is to give businesses more time to upgrade to the Windows as a Service model.

You also might recall that last April, Microsoft announced that it will be aligning the servicing model for Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. Naturally, there are some changes on the Office end of things as well.

For one thing, the company will no longer service Office 365 ProPlus, if it is running on a version of Windows 10 from the Semi-Annual Channel that is no longer support. This is meant to provide the best experience of Office and Windows 10 together, and frankly, it's not surprising.

Also, beginning on January 14, 2020, Office 365 ProPlus won't be supported on the following versions of Windows:

  • Any Windows 10 LTSC release

  • Windows Server 2016 and older

  • Windows 8.1 and older

This is a bit more interesting. Microsoft says that this is to "ensure that both Office and Windows receive regular, coordinated updates to provide the most secure environment with the latest capabilities." But while January 14, 2020 is the end of extended support for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 extended support doesn't end until January 10, 2023.

Obviously, this is another step toward Microsoft's goal of aligning Office and Windows, and keeping everyone up to date on the latest versions of each. With the introduction of its new Microsoft 365 plans that include both Office 365 and Windows 10, this is even more important to the firm.

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