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Users of all Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac apps will cease getting security updates in October, and will increasingly face performance and reliability issues as Microsoft drops support.
From October 13, 2020, Mac users of Office 2016 will no longer be officially supported on Microsoft's Office 365 or Microsoft 365 services. This means the business versions of OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange Online will not be supported, although they may continue to function.
Microsoft's official announcement is contradictory, stating first that Office 2016 will remain in the list of supported versions. This is the Windows version, however, as the company later specifies that: "Office 2016 for Mac isn't supported."
That's because the company is officially ending all support for Office 2016 for Mac on that date. Office 2016, like the Office 2019 which followed it and will still be supported, is a standalone copy of the Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook bundle which was sold as a single purchase.
While Office began as a single purchase, Microsoft has been promoting a subscription version called Office 365 since 2011. As part of that promotion, subscribers have received continually updated support plus new features that are exclusive to Office 365.
Similarly, Microsoft has tied new versions of Office such as Microsoft Office for iPad, to the 365 subscription service. To use the iPad versions of the app, you have to subscribe to Office 365.
"We won't take any active measures to block other versions of the Office client, such as Office 2013, from connecting to Office 365 services," says Microsoft in a support statement, "but these older clients may encounter performance or reliability issues over time."
Companies who have bought Office 2016 for Mac will notice the lack of support first, as it affects how Word and the other apps can save and share data.