Microsoft names September 22nd as the date for Office party

Prepare to ride the upgrade treadmill as security updates won't be supported for long

Office 365 as seen in the Edge browser

Automatically-downloaded upgrades to Microsoft Office will enjoy security updates for just eight months under Microsoft's new Office update plan.

Redmond's raised the flag ahead of Office sprinting off the starting line on the anointed date of Tuesday, September 22nd and also explained how Office updates are going to work from now on.

If you choose to accept Office pdates whenever Microsoft makes them available, you'll be on what Redmond now calls the “current branch” of Office and can expect new bits every 30 days or so.

For those more comfortable with less frequent updates there's now “Current Branch for Business” that offers new functionality three times a year. There's also a “First Release for Current Branch for Business” that lets you have a look at new bits popping up in the Current Branch without having to implement them. Microsoft hopes this arrangement will “... give pilot users and application compatibility testers in your organization a chance to work with the upcoming Current Branch for Business release.”

Redmond's also explained the security procedures for each Branch, as follows:

A Current Branch for Business release is supported for eight months. When a new Current Branch for Business release is made available, you can continue to use the Current Branch for Business release that you've deployed. But four months later, when another Current Branch for Business is released, your original Current Branch for Business release is no longer supported and won't get any more security updates.

Which sounds like rather a lot to keep on top of, as it looks like one will need to be testing First Release for Current Branch for Business almost non-stop unless one has an appetite to run possibly-insecure versions of Office.

New 'branches' for Office Updates explained

Microsoft's new Office update plan revealed in boxy glory

The new regime starts on the same day as downloads, September 22nd, when we'll all be offered the chance to get our paws on Office 2016 in all its Cortana-assisted glory. ®




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