A colleague of mine Tobie prompted me to look at this a bit more closely. A few changes are being made with Office 2019 both client and Server. You have probably already heard Office 2019 client will be click to run only (no MSI) and Windows 10 only, but you may have missed the change in support timelines.
Understanding Microsoft Server Enterprise Support Model – Mainstream and Extended Support
First a little background. Traditionally Microsoft has provided a “5 and 5” support model for Enterprise software, 5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support.
What’s the difference between Extended and Mainstream?
- Incident support (no-charge incident support, paid incident support, support charged on an hourly basis, support for warranty claims)
- Security update support
- The ability to request non-security updates
- Extended Support is available to all customers
- Extended Support includes
- Paid technical assistance (technical assistance that is charged on an hourly basis or per incident)
- Security updates at no additional cost
- Paid non-security updates. To receive non-security updates
- Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase
So the difference really is during extended support you get security fixes but no new features and all support is paid.
Skype for Business Server 2015 Support Dates
Microsoft provides a nice online portal where you can lookup support dates:
Skype for Business Server 2015 is in mainstream support until October 2020 and Extended support until October 2025
Office 2016 Clients
Office 2016 clients run along the same dates:
Skype for Business Server 2019 (and Exchange Server 2019 and SharePoint Server 2019) and Office 2019 Clients Support Dates
Skype for Business Server 2019 is not due for release until Calendar Q4 2018 (“fall” in US terminology), so it might feel a bit early to be talking about support timelines, but it is interesting as the model has been changed to 5 years Mainstream support and 2 years extended support.
“Microsoft Office 2019 will ship in the fall of 2018. Previews will be available in the second quarter of 2018. This includes apps (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, and Skype for Business) and servers (Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business)
Office 2019 will provide 5 years of mainstream support and approximately 2 years of extended support. This is an exception to our Fixed Lifecycle Policy to align with the support period for Office 2016. Extended support will end 10/14/2025.”
So Skype for Business Server 2019 Mainstream support will run to Q4 2023 and Extended support to Q4 2025, approximately the same time as SfBS 2015 Server Extended support ends. These same dates will apply to Exchange Server 2019 and SharePoint Server 2019.
I have little doubt there will be another release of all the Server products (Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business), probably around 2022 to support those who still want to run Server for whatever business reason, but it’s interesting to see Microsoft tightening up on the amount of time they will support a particular server release.