On October 10, 2017, Office 2007 will reach End of Life. If you haven't already begun to upgrade your Office 2007 environment, we recommend you start now.
This article provides recommendations, information, and links to help you plan your upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus in large enterprises. To find out how to upgrade on a single device, see How do I upgrade to Office 2016?. To find out how to upgrade in a small organization, see Upgrade to Office 2016 using Office 365 for business
We also recommend customers use the deployment benefits provided by Microsoft and Microsoft Certified Partners, including Microsoft FastTrack for cloud migrations and Software Assurance Deployment and Planning Services for on-premises upgrades.
What does End of Life mean?
Office 2007, like almost all Microsoft products, has a support lifecycle during which we provide new features, bug fixes, security fixes, and so on. This lifecycle typically lasts for 10 years from the date of the product’s initial release, and the end of this lifecycle is known as the product’s End of Life. When Office 2007 reaches its End of Life on October 10, 2017, Microsoft will no longer provide:
Technical support for issues
Bug fixes for issues that are discovered
Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered
Because of the changes listed above, we strongly recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible.
What are my options?
With Office 2007 reaching its End of Life, this is a good time to explore your options and prepare an upgrade plan. You can:
Upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus, the subscription version of Office that comes with many Office 365 plans.
Upgrade to Office 2016, which is sold as a one-time purchase and available for one computer per license.
Upgrade to an earlier version of Office, such as Office 2013.
This article provides guidance on the first option: upgrading to Office 365 ProPlus.
What is Office 365? What is Office 365 ProPlus?
Office 365 refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications and other cloud services, including Skype for Business, Exchange Online, and OneDrive for Business. Office 365 ProPlus is the version of Office that comes with many Office 365 plans. It includes the full versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Access, and Skype for Business installed on your client computers.
Unlike Office 2007, Office 365 ProPlus is a user-based service that allows people to access Office experiences on up to 5 PCs or Macs and on their mobile devices. Because Office 365 ProPlus is a delivered as a service, there are differences in how you deploy, license, and activate it. For more details about these differences, see the Office 365 ProPlus product page, Getting started guide for deploying Office 365 ProPlus, and Overview of Office 365 ProPlus.
Review what’s changed since Office 2007
To learn about the changes from Office 2007 to Office 365 ProPlus, review the update articles for each of the Office releases: Changes in Office 2010, Changes in Office 2013, Changes in Office 2016 for Windows, and What's new to help admins deploy and manage Office 365 ProPlus.
For information about the new features available in Office 365 ProPlus, see What's new in Office 365.
Review the system requirements for Office 365 ProPlus
Before upgrading to Office 365 ProPlus, verify that your client computers meet or exceed the minimum system requirements. The Office 365 ProPlus requirements are the same as the Office Professional Plus 2016 requirements.
In addition, you should review the system requirements for your Office server workloads. For example, Exchange 2007 does not support Outlook 2016. For more details, see Exchange Server Supportability Matrixand System Requirements for Office server products.
Plan for Office 365
Because Office 365 ProPlus comes with many Office 365 plans, you should review your current Office 365 capabilities as part of planning an upgrade to ProPlus. Prior to deploying ProPlus, for example, you should ensure that all your users have Office 365 accounts and licenses. For more details, see Deploy Office 365 Enterprise for your organization.
Deploy Office Telemetry to assess compatibility
To discover components in your existing Office 2007 environment, we recommend setting up Office telemetry. Office telemetry is built into Office 2016--when an Office document or solution is loaded, used, closed, or raises an error in certain Office 2016 applications, the application adds a record about the event to a local data store.
For Office 2007, you deploy an agent that collects information about the installed add-ins and the most recently used documents. You won’t get application event data for these clients like you do with Office 2016 clients, but you'll get inventory and usage data that helps you discover what is being used.
For more details on how to assess compatibility and set up Office telemetry, see Assess Office compatibility with other versions of Office. For specific deployment information about the Office Telemetry Dashboard and deploying telemetry agents in your Office 2007 environment, see Deploy Telemetry Dashboard.
Assess application compatibility
To ensure a successful upgrade, we recommend identifying your Office applications--including VBA scripts, macros, third-party add-ins, and complex documents and spreadsheets--and assessing their compatibility with Office 365 ProPlus. In particular, you should:
Discover the components, including which documents and solutions are being used most often and by the most people. To enable discovery, we recommend using Office telemetry.
Rationalize the business-critical components, including working with your business groups to prioritize documents and solutions.
Remediate the critical components by setting up “user acceptance testing,” in which users test the high priority documents and solutions during a pilot upgrade.
Manage the components for future validation of critical components, including continuing to monitor compatibility of your documents and solutions.
Assess your infrastructure and environment
To decide how to upgrade to Office, you should evaluate your infrastructure and environment, including the following:
Number and distribution of your clients, including required languages.
IT infrastructure, including operating systems, mobile device support, user permissions and management, and software distribution methods.
Network infrastructure, including connections to the Internet and internal software distribution points.
Cloud infrastructure, including existing Office 365 capabilities, user licensing, and identity.
Your assessment of these components will influence how you want to upgrade. For more detailed information, see Best practices for assessing your infrastructure.
Review new Group policy settings
As with any new version of Office, there are new Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) for Group Policy settings. All Group Policy settings for Office are now located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0 and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0.
You can download the Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) for Group Policy settings for Office 2016 from the Microsoft Download Center. The download includes an Excel file that lists all the Group Policy settings and the new policy settings for Office 2016.
Choose how you want to deploy Office 365 ProPlus
You can deploy ProPlus from the cloud, from a local source on your network, or with System Center Configuration Manager (or another software distribution solution). Which option you choose depends on your environment and business requirements. Deploying from the cloud, for example, minimizes your administrative overhead, but could require more network bandwidth. Deploying with Configuration Manager or from a local source, on the other hand, offers more granular control over the deployment of Office, including which applications and languages are installed on which client computers.
For more information on deciding how to deploy Office, see Determine the deployment method to use for Office 365 ProPlus. We also recommend reviewing the detailed assessment, planning, and deployment scenarios in the Preferred Practices guidance:
Enterprise Managed, which deploys ProPlus with Configuration Manager.
Locally Managed, which deploys ProPlus from a local source.
Cloud Managed, which deploys ProPlus from the Office Content Delivery Network in the cloud.
These scenarios provide real-world examples in how to deploy Office 365 ProPlus.
Choose how often to update Office
With Office 365 ProPlus, you can control how frequently your users receive feature updates to their Office applications. For more information, see Overview of update channels for Office 365 ProPlus.
Plan for additional languages
You can install language accessory packs after you’ve deployed Office 365 ProPlus in one of its base languages. There are two ways to install language accessory packs:
Have your users download and install the language accessory packs that they need from the Office 365 portal.
Use the Office Deployment Tool to deploy the appropriate language accessory packs to your users.
For more information on deploying additional languages, see Plan for multilanguage deployment of Click-to-Run-based Office installations.
The Office Customization Tool is not used as part of the Office 365 ProPlus installation. Instead, you can customize the installation for your users with the Office 2016 Deployment Tool. For more information, see the Overview of the Office Deployment Tool.
Removal of InfoPath from Office 365 ProPlus. InfoPath 2013 remains the current version and therefore won't be included in the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus. When you upgrade an existing installation of Office 2007 to the Office 365 ProPlus, InfoPath is removed from the computer. If your users still need to use InfoPath, the 2013 version of InfoPath will be available for installation on the Software page in the Office 365 portal.
What to read first as you plan your enterprise upgrade from Office 2007 to Office ProPlus 365:
Office 365 ProPlus Deployment Guide: Articles for planning, deploying, and managing Office ProPlus 365 in an enterprise environment.
Best practices guide for deploying Office 365 ProPlus in the enterprise: Recommended guidance for discovery of applications, deployment preferred practices, channel management, and reporting to provide Office 365 customers with a consistent Office 365 ProPlus deployment experience.
Content roadmap for Office compatibility: A guide to the articles, downloads, scripts, and videos that help IT Professionals assess Office 365 ProPlus compatibility.
To find out more about upgrading from Office 2007 servers, see Resources to help you upgrade from Office 2007 servers and clients.