Does a new year mean a new Microsoft experience for business users? The tech giant has promised several new updates for 2023. These upcoming Microsoft Office changes will impact more than just desktop users. People who rely on mobile versions of Microsoft will also see a difference in their user experience. Here's everything you need to know.
Microsoft Office Changes Tighten Up Product Offerings
Over the past few years, Microsoft has focused on expanding its offering and deepening its commitment to hybrid work. Consider the following changes as it tightens its focus.
365 App Launches as a Part of the Office Rebranding
Some tech analysts believe the new app will bring no substantial changes from the existing Office mobile app. They think it is primarily a rebranding tactic. Still, workers looking for a fresh take on the Microsoft 365 experience might appreciate the changes. Here are some of its main features:
- Centralized location for apps and files
- Content creation tools for professional results
- Seamless integration and access across devices
- Smart recommendations to make work easier
Support Ends for Office 2013 in April 2023
Microsoft has provided a decade of support to users of Microsoft 2013. The software is already in the Extended Support phase. While it has not received feature updates, it has continued to receive security patches from Microsoft. On April 11, 2023, the software will continue to work, but it will no longer receive those security updates. These Microsoft Office changes make Office 2013 a point of vulnerability for anyone still using it.
365 Connection Service Ends for Office 2016 and 2019
The 365 Connection Service was essential to the Office 2016 and 2019 experience. It provided cloud synchronization for files stored on Microsoft's servers. However, this service will end on October 10, 2023. Users must switch to Office 365 or a newer software version if they want the same functionality.
The end of the service does not mean that users cannot connect. It does mean that these users may not have access to Microsoft resources or receive support if they run into issues. This can happen when updates create compatibility issues, software glitches cause problems, or the software simply no longer integrates well with 365.
Two Features Removed From Office Mobile
Office Mobile already has reduced functionality compared to the desktop versions, so users will likely not appreciate these Microsoft Office changes. Nevertheless, Microsoft has retired the ability to Share Nearby and Transfer Files. The Share Nearby feature made it easier for users to share files with other devices in close proximity using WiFi or Bluetooth. Meanwhile, Transfer Files made it easier to send files the traditional way. Now, users will need to use OneDrive.
Email Attachments Will Decrease OneDrive Storage
In the past, email attachments did not count toward the maximum storage capacity in OneDrive. Microsoft has announced that this will change on February 1, 2023. The change might amount to little for commercial users with one terabyte of storage. However, free accounts that still rely on the 5 GB allowance could quickly burn through that quota.
Microsoft allegedly intends to compensate for this by providing free year-long access to a minimum of 50 GB extra. The new quota becomes available to Microsoft 365 customers and will help to accommodate the extra space email attachments will take up.
Companies Need To Prepare for These Microsoft Office Changes
Ideally, the IT team at your company already anticipated these changes and made the proper arrangements. If they still need to do so, there is no time like the present to start. Here are some adjustments you may need to make.
Review Microsoft's Retirement and End of Support Lists
Microsoft ended support for a long list of products in 2023. Not all of them made headlines, but each could play a critical role in your IT infrastructure. The retirement or end of support for just one product could introduce vulnerabilities and put your corporate networks and data at risk.
Microsoft has provided a complete list of these. It has also included lists of the products in extended support and those nearing the end of support. Pay close attention to these so that you can plan for upgrades or replacements.
Calculate Cloud Storage Needs
Will the attachment changes have a significant impact on your storage needs? Consider the types of files that your team shares via email. Even if you currently have enough storage to meet your needs, it's an excellent time to consider how Microsoft Office changes will affect your long-term storage needs. Do you need to delete files or purchase more storage? Will you need to change the way your team submits files or collaborates on projects remotely? What are the appropriate alternatives?
Test the Security of Your Network and Data
Even small changes can create impactful changes in the safety of your network and data. Don't wait until a breach shows you that your system is vulnerable. Make sure you test regularly and that your team understands the security protocols. Here are some of the many ways you can accomplish this:
- Use a combination of manual and automated procedures to identify weaknesses.
- Develop and enforce an incident response plan.
- Assess the security of your web applications and microservices.
- Monitor for suspicious activities such as unauthorized login attempts.
- Regularly patch your systems with the latest security updates.
Migrate to the Cloud To Address Microsoft Office Changes
Companies can streamline the process of maintaining up-to-date and secure systems by upgrading to the cloud as Microsoft Office changes continue. Our Cloudficient migration specialists have helped companies of all sizes accomplish this without disrupting business services. Are you ready to see what we can do for you? Contact us for a quote today.
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