Microsoft had taken a decision to launch the new edition of Office for Mac in the second half of 2015. This will most probably result in the company’s extended support for the Office for Mac 2011. On the last Friday of October Microsoft presented its general timetable for the new edition of Office for Mac, confirming that it will provide a public beta in the first six months of the next year, which will be followed by a final release in the second half of the year.
This is expected to put the clients who are using the current Office for Mac 2011 in a difficult situation, as the support for that addition will cease in less than 14 months, most probably within weeks of the replacement debut. According to the support schedule, Microsoft is expected to deliver the last security updates in the very beginning of January 2016.
The companies that are using Office for Mac consider the migration window of several months as being insufficient, no matter if they have purchased perpetual licenses or have acquired the suite using the subscription-based Office 365. In this case Microsoft will most probably act in the same manner as in 2009, or in other words it is expected that the company will extend its support.
In 2009 Microsoft offered a 27-month support reprieve for its Office for Mac 2004, as it had removed the macros based on Visual Basic from its 2008 edition, and after that restored the functionality to Office for Mac 2011. In other words, Microsoft did not retire Office for Mac 2004 in October 2009 on schedule, but gave its users time until January 2014 to migrate. The company expected its users to skip the 2008 edition and upgrade directly to 2011, and continue using the Visual Basic macros.
Office for Mac 2011 has been launched in October 2010 and thus the users had 15 months to move from the 2004 edition. In case Microsoft acts in the same manner this time, the company will reset the retirement of Office for Mac 2011 in early 2018. The support lifecycle page of Microsoft from 1st November however was not changed and the support deadline date shown was still 12th Jan 2016.