Thursday, September 24, 2015

How do I stay on Office 365 ProPlus 2013/Office 365 Business 2013/Office 365 Business Premium 2013

Microsoft is rolling out automatic upgrade of Office 365 ProPlus from 2013 to 2016. 
Be aware that new minimum system requirements for Office 2016 are now 2 GB RAM and 1280 x 800 screen resolution. But always remember minimum doesn't mean comfortable. Operating systems: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2. Note that Skype for Business 2016 requires minimum 1.6 GHz and minimum of 128 megabytes (MB) graphics memory while the rest of Office 2016 package requires just only 1GHz (or faster). Another important change to be aware of is that Outlook 2016 doesn’t support connecting to Exchange Server 2007. So if you are still with Exchange 2007 (or even Exchange 2003) your O365 migration process will become more painful now.
You will be probably the one who wants to delay this process because of obvious reasons. Microsoft support provided kb3097292.

There are three ways we can delay the migration to Office 2016 ProPlus.
Note: These methods also work for Office 365 Business, which is the version of Office that comes with the Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Premium plans.
1. GPO setting that blocks the update (kb3097292)

2. You can push out a registry key manually that will do the same (kb3097292)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\15.0\common\officeupdate]
"enableautomaticupgrade"=dword:00000000
3. Use the Office Deployment Tool (ODT) and the configuration.xml file to prevent the migration as well.
In the configuration.xml file we will add the AutoUpgrade attribute and set it to "FALSE" like in this example configuration.xml file here:
<Configuration>
<Add SourcePath="\\server\office" OfficeClientEdition="32”>
<Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail" >
<Language ID="en-us" />
</Product>
</Add>
<Updates Enabled=”TRUE” AutoUpgrade=”FALSE”/>
</Configuration>
Time to prepare money for new hardware/OS and move forward ;)