End of support for Office 2016 and 2019 in October 2025

[German]Brief information for Office users and administrators. Microsoft has remind its users recently once again that support for its Microsoft Office versions 2016 and 2019 will end in October 2025. The same applies to the associated Productivity Server, i.e. administrators and IT managers must consider how to replace the relevant Office versions in companies.


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Microsoft has announced the information on the end of support on April 15, 2024 in the Techcommunity article Key End of Support dates for Office 2016, 2019 Apps & Productivity Servers. Affected are:

  • All apps from Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 2019
  • Exchange Server 2016, Exchange Server 2019, Skype for Business Server 2015, Skype for Business Server 2019

End of support means that the above-mentioned applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook etc. as well as the listed servers will continue to work, but will receive security updates for the last time on October 14, 2025. After this date, there will be no security updates, bug fixes or technical support for the Microsoft products mentioned.

Microsoft warns that using products after the end of support will leave users vulnerable to potential security threats, loss of productivity and compliance issues. While the threat of "loss of productivity" cannot be dismissed out of hand, I think it is a joke of a story. Users of Office 365 apps, and Outlook in particular, can tell you a thing or two about bugs and malfunctions introduced via updates in the "officially Microsoft-supported" versions.

Recommendation for Microsoft 365 E3

In the Techcommunity article, Redmond makes a recommendation for Microsoft 365 E3. This is a subscription plan with migration to the cloud, which includes Microsoft 365 applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and more, as well as online services such as SharePoint and Exchange. In the article, Redmond promises the blue sky in terms of what else is included in this E3 subscription.


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A poisoned offer?

But I'm not letting Microsoft off the hook quite like that. Let's take a look at the details. The version without Teams for the EU only costs a mere 35.70 euros per user per month, which is practically a "bargain" when you consider what Microsoft is cramming into it.

  • Microsoft talks about "intelligent security" for employees, information and customer data, but fails to mention that its "cloud services" are Midnight Blizzard-tested (see Microsoft confirms: Russian spies (Midnight Blizzard) stole source code while accessing systems).
  • The cloud-first strategy in the European Union (EU) means that companies are taking a huge risk because the solution does not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The legal dispute is still raging and the EU Commission has issued a provisional adequacy decision (see my German blog post EU-Kommission fällt vorläufige Angemessenheitsentscheidung zum Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework). However, if the ECJ issues the "Schrems III ruling" and possibly overturns this adequacy decision, the Microsoft cloud solution will also be overturned.
  • The cloud-first strategy in the EU means that companies are taking a huge risk because the solution does not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The legal dispute is still raging and there is a provisional adequacy decision by the EU Commission (). But at the latest, if the ECJ issues the "Schrems III ruling" and possibly overturns this adequacy decision, the Microsoft cloud solution will also be overturned.
  • With the introduction of Copilot into its Office applications, Microsoft is brewing a toxic mixture that I believe is likely to cause IT managers a few more headaches when it comes to the outflow of confidential company data and GDPR compliance. Microsoft does have plans to provide administrators with tools to protect company data. At least from what I've seen as an outsider, I don't get the impression that this is easy to implement in practice.

Kurzum: Aus Sicht des Microsoft-Vertriebs ist Microsoft 365 E3 zwar eine coole Sache, die die Kassen in Redmond klingeln lässt. Aber aus Sicht der europäischen Unternehmen ist es eher eine "Pille mit Kopfschmerzen und zementierten Abhängigkeiten".

Are there alternatives?

This also raises the question of whether there are alternatives. Companies that are still eyeing Microsoft Office could wait for Microsoft Office 2024, which has already been announced (see Microsoft Office 2024 and Microsoft Office LTSC 2024: Preview in April 2024). And there will also be an on-premises successor solution for Microsoft Exchange in 2025 – see Exchange Server vNext is coming in 2025.

And then there are people in German state Schleswig-Holstein's state government who have decided to move away from Microsoft Office. The decision is based, among other things, on the argument that the dependencies and migration to the cloud cannot be supported. I reported on this in the German blog post Digitale IT-Souveränität: Schleswig-Holstein setzt auf LibreOffice.

Similar articles
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Microsoft hacked by Russian Midnight Blizzard; emails exfiltrated since Nov. 2023
Microsoft confirms: Russian spies (Midnight Blizzard) stole source code while accessing systems
US CISA orders admins in authorities to mitigate the cyber risks of the Microsoft Cloud
Unsecured Microsoft Azure Server exposes passwords etc. of Microsoft systems (Feb. 2024)
German data protection conference 2022 says Microsoft 365 still not GDPR compliant
EU data protection authority says: EU Commission violates GDPR with Microsoft 365


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