Microsoft Office in 2023: what you need to know

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 4, 2023
Microsoft Office
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Microsoft Office users face several important changes in 2023 that affect standalone versions of Microsoft Office and mobile Microsoft Office apps. Microsoft customers who have a Microsoft 365 subscription or Microsoft Office 2021 LTSC are not affected by the changes.

Main changes affect the desktop versions Office 2013, which runs out of support in April 2023, and Office 2016/2019, which will run out of Microsoft 365 connectivity support.

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image credit: Lee Holmes

Office 2013 support ends in April 2023

Microsoft Office 2013 is in its Extended Support phase currently. It receives monthly security updates in that phase, but no feature updates anymore.

The Office version will be retired on April 11, 2023 by Microsoft. While it won't stop working after that date, it won't receive any more security updates going forward. Customers won't receive technical support either anymore for the product.

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Office 2016 and 2019: Microsoft 365 service supports ends in October 2023

Microsoft will end support for connecting to Microsoft 365 services for the two Microsoft Office versions Office 2016 and Office 2019. Microsoft explains on a support website that only mainstream support versions of Office are supported for connecting to Microsoft 365 services. Office 2019 runs out of mainstream support in October 2023. The company made an exception for Office 2016, which is already out of mainstream support.

Note that end of support does not necessarily mean that these versions can't connect to Microsoft 365 anymore. Microsoft notes on this support page that older Office versions "might still be able to connect to Microsoft 365 services, but that connectivity isn't supported".  The same applies to Office 2016 and 2019 on October 10, 2023. Connections may continue to work, but there is no guarantee for that.

Microsoft explains that some functionality and features may not become available, and that users may "encounter other unexpected performance or reliability issues while using Microsoft 365 services". New features and changes do not get tested against these older versions of Office, and this may lead to unexpected issues according to Microsoft.

Both Office versions reach end of support on October 14, 2025.

Office mobile: two features removed

Microsoft made two changes to Office Mobile applications. The company announced the change in November 2022 and has removed the following two features from Office mobile as of December 31, 2022.

  • Transfer Files -- A basic file transfer feature to send and receive files. The file sharing feature has been deprecated in favor of OneDrive, which Office users may use for file transfers.
  • Share Nearby -- Another file sharing feature. It allowed users to share files with nearby devices over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Closing Words

The desktop versions of Office continue to work, even Microsoft 365 connectivity won't end suddenly on October 10, 2023. Still, it is clear that Microsoft's focus is on Microsoft 365 and the cloud.

Now You: do you use Microsoft Office (via Born)

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Microsoft Office in 2023: what you need to know
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Microsoft Office in 2023: what you need to know
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Microsoft Office users face several important changes in 2023 that affect standalone versions of Microsoft Office and mobile apps.
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Comments

  1. Rakib said on January 4, 2023 at 8:56 am
    Reply

    Since there has ‘LibreOffice’, no need to use MS Office. Eventhough in terms of usability MS Office is ahead of LibreOffice. But LibreOffices does good.

    1. Ivan said on January 6, 2023 at 5:22 pm
      Reply

      LibreOffice is fine for personal use, but in the business realm it’s sadly inferior to MS Office. I genuinely wanted to switch to it at work, but it just isn’t compatible with the work flow and some advanced features that are essential for my job. Also, MS Office is far more user-friendly. I genuinely want it to take over MS Office’s position as the de facto standard, but it currently isn’t there yet. They should start by focusing more on UX and UI, as well as cloud integration (e.g. the way Office auto-saves after every change to OneDrive if you want, but with support for more cloud storage solutions).

  2. John G. said on January 4, 2023 at 12:03 pm
    Reply

    I have online MS Office for free and it’s a truly must have for some causal works. Thanks for the article.

  3. Klaas Vaak said on January 4, 2023 at 1:53 pm
    Reply

    Apart from LibreOffice, there are other alternatives.

    OnlyOffice: free, open source (FOSS)
    Softmaker FreeOffice: free, closed source. Its premium version is Softmaker Office
    Kingsoft WPS: freemium, closed source.

    WPS’s free version features cover most of the premium features, whereas the is quite a big difference between FreeOffice’s free version and the premium Softmaker Office version in terms of features.

    1. Trey said on January 5, 2023 at 12:37 am
      Reply

      Don’t use Kingsoft WPS unless you enjoy sharing your documents with Beijing.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on January 5, 2023 at 8:13 am
        Reply

        @Trey: good point, you are right.
        In a similar vein, I would say don’t use MS Office, Google Sheets, the Mac suite unless you enjoy sharing your documents with the NSA, CIA & co.

      2. Klaas Vaak said on January 5, 2023 at 5:40 pm
        Reply

        On macOS you can use Lulu (free) or Little Snitch (paid) to block outgoing communication, so WPS can be blocked.

    2. Akina said on January 6, 2023 at 7:40 pm
      Reply

      I use OnlyOffice. It’s good for personal use and more user friendly than LibreOffice.

  4. Sleeping said on January 4, 2023 at 3:29 pm
    Reply

    I use LibreOffice for more “advanced” tasks or to open local file and Google Docs for simple editing and note taking. I haven’t been using Office on desktop for years (I use Office on Android).

  5. StudentLoanDebt said on January 4, 2023 at 11:33 pm
    Reply

    Office is fantastic if you like to rent bloatware, telemetry, and monthly bugs from Microsoft.

    I no longer use Office for personal use. After college, LibreOffice became my primary office suite, and I had no problems.

  6. Anonymous said on January 5, 2023 at 12:25 am
    Reply

    I use LibreOffice and Linux. I don’t want the Microsoft bloatware. I had it in the past, I remember it installed various services that would run when booting the computer, slowing it down, even if I wouldn’t open Office. And disabling them made Office unable to start, since it needed these to validate my license or some crap.

  7. Basingstoke said on January 5, 2023 at 5:15 am
    Reply

    Wether something is going to go out of support is hardly a concern for me. I am still able to do just about anything I could possible want, in terms of written work, documentation, charts, diagrams, layout, design, even image manipulation – using Office 2007.

    Amusing how they’re trying to make editing/creating documents into a subscription based package – the technology hasn’t moved that much (or, more accurately, isn’t moving at a fast enough pace) to justify a subscription let alone buying a license for a version 3, 5 or 7 years newer.

    I’ve tried some Office alternatives last year when I was using Ubuntu, and what I noted was that, much like with the Windows vs Linux argument, the alternatives aren’t quite as intuitive (compared to Microsoft), but certainly are useable.

    The issue is always self-interest – it’s not in Microsoft’s self-interest to maintain “supported status” of older things they’re not making as much money from, therefore they’ll always be looking at pulling the plug on their older products – if the past 5 or so years have shown anything it’s that Microsoft actually doesn’t have a single ounce of shame, i’m not talking about this news here, I mean in general!

  8. Sunnysewsit said on January 5, 2023 at 9:07 pm
    Reply

    I stopped using MS Office years ago, instead preferring Libre Office and Thunderbird mail tool. My dh, unfortunately still uses an older version of Office (Word and Outlook), which I am trying to wean him off of! Refuse to use a subscription service for these tools when there are so many alternatives. And if I didn’t need Windows for a special drawing program I use, I’d dump that, too in favor of Linux!

  9. RicD said on January 28, 2023 at 1:58 am
    Reply

    For over twenty plus years I was a Apple everything/anything user. Thus when their office apps came out I used their office apps. Today they are particularly good, and can open MS 365 files and save as MS 365 files, also they have many excellent features. Converting files between Apple apps and MS apps quickly became a hassle, yet the Apple apps are free, thus I stuck with them. When I switched from everything/anything Apple to Android and Windows, it became abundantly clear for my workflow MS 365 personal subscription, $70.00 a year, is well worth the cost. Putting it perspective my annual subscription to Evernote cost more than MS 365; dropped Evernote for OneNote. Being the most productive we can be is our goal.

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