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Microsoft Office Updates Now Require macOS 11 Big Sur or Later

If you use Microsoft Office in macOS 10.15 Catalina, there’s yet another reason beyond the lack of Apple security updates to consider upgrading soon. Microsoft has announced that the company’s productivity suite will receive updates only if your Mac is running at least macOS 11 Big Sur. That applies to Office for Mac 2019, Office for Mac 2021, and Microsoft 365 (see “Microsoft Rebranding Office to Microsoft 365,” 17 October 2022). macOS 12 Monterey and macOS 13 Ventura are fully supported.

The October 2022 update (16.66) was the last build of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote for users running Catalina. If you continue to use Catalina, your Office apps will still work fine but won’t receive enhancements, bug fixes, or security updates. At some point, that may become a problem.

Upgrading is a pain, I know, but it’s a necessity of modern life. Some of the supporting details in “Why You Should Upgrade (On Your Own Terms)” (4 September 2015) may seem dated, but its key points are as valid now as they were 7 years ago.

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Comments About Microsoft Office Updates Now Require macOS 11 Big Sur or Later

Notable Replies

  1. I was told that Catalina support from Apple end’s this month, so this update information is likely related. I have to scramble to get some of my users off Catalina, and some can’t as their older hardware won’t support past Catalina. Like me, and my 2012 Mac Mini, we’ll just not.
    Atleast those of us who can’t update, can move to OpenOffice or LibreOffice, the latter I use and support.
    Speaking of moving from Catalina…I had to move a user from Mojave up, and went right to Monterey. While it was mostly uneventful, I am reminded of Apple’s poor “time remaining” display isn’t very reassuring. What showed as “About 35 minutes” from installation actually took over three hours to get to a login screen.
    Humorously, if some woman can sue Kraft for falsely advertising Mac & cheese (see the pun?) only takes 3 minutes to serve when she says it takes longer, because you have to mix the powder and let it set… well, with Apple’s updates, wisdom shows their legal weight using the word “About…” to protect them from providing a operating system that should, in this era, display accurate estimated time.
    Oh and YMMV with upgrading from Mojave or Catalina to the next OS like Big Sur or Monterey.

  2. I guess perpetual licenses of Office aren’t so perpetual, are they?

  3. What makes you say that? A perpetual license doesn’t mean they’ll continue to support old platforms in perpetuity.

    If you own a license for Office 2019 or Office 2021, it will continue to work. If you are running an older macOS release, it will continue to work, but probably with no updates beyond this last update.

  4. You know that and I know that. There are a lot of people that don’t take into account that the program will get updates for some macOS versions and not others. That hits home with bugs and security issues are involved.

  5. I think the key word is “license.” You have a perpetual license to use the app binaries, not a guarantee of support and updates. People can interpret it in other ways if they want, but it won’t do them any good. :slight_smile:

  6. Not sure who told you that, but Apple support for Catalina effectively ended on July 20 with the release of Security Update 2022-005.

  7. What I would find more disturbing would be if Microsoft’s update did not check to see what version of the MacOS was running and updated Microsoft apps to a version that could not run under that version of the MacOS. I have a hazy recollection of having had that happen with some other Application, but I can’t remember when or what software was involved.

  8. My IT Computing Support dept issued that “macOS 10.15 Catalina will no longer receive security updates before November 2022…and to plan upgrades to Big Sur or Monterey by end of 2022”.

  9. That is true, since July 20 was “before” November 2022, rather than this month.

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