Microsoft Office 2021

taugust_ric
New Contributor III

Does anyone know what Microsoft's strategy is going to be for Office 2021 in terms of packages?  Are they going to be forked again like they were with Office 2016?  Will Office 2021 have a license package like 2019 and 2016?

Due to situations beyond my control, we're still deploying volume licensed versions of Office 2019 rather than enabling Microsoft 365 licensing with a sign-in.  I just don't want to accidentally break anything on existing systems by deploying the wrong packages.  So far I've checked here:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/upgrade-macos-to-continue-receiving-microsoft-365-and-off... 

And here...

https://macadmins.software 

And they seem to be lacking details, other than Office 2021 requiring Catalina, even though the first released build will be support Mojave, but only for that first build (such an odd strategy!!!).

My apologies if I'm not seeing a Microsoft support document that my Google-foo missed.  Didn't see any other posts here yet either...

Thanks!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

mjhersh
New Contributor III

It's the same as 2019. 2021 uses the same application packages; the only difference is the serializer. Apply the 2021 serializer to a 2019 installation with 16.53+ installed, and it will magically become 2021 (unless a user logs in, and then it's magically O365). Get the packages here (or with autopkg; if you already had it set up for 2019 then you're done): https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-for-mac 

This extension attribute will help you track license types since you can no longer judge by application version: https://github.com/pbowden-msft/ExtensionAttributes/blob/master/Office_License.sh 

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taugust_ric
New Contributor III

And of course I find more details as soon as I post here.  I'll just leave this here for everyone to digest:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/mac/volume-license-serializer 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployoffice/mac/deployment-options-for-office-for-mac 

Apparently, the official title of this release is now Office LTSC for Mac 2021. Oh Microsoft... πŸ˜€

Still lacking some details on how packages will be released for 2021 vs 2019....

HeightsCollege
New Contributor II

Best information for anything new with Office is Paul Bowdens JNUC session.

https://reg.jamf.com/flow/jamf/jnuc2021/virtualhome/page/sessioncatalog/session/1614712095530001dOG8 

mjhersh
New Contributor III

It's the same as 2019. 2021 uses the same application packages; the only difference is the serializer. Apply the 2021 serializer to a 2019 installation with 16.53+ installed, and it will magically become 2021 (unless a user logs in, and then it's magically O365). Get the packages here (or with autopkg; if you already had it set up for 2019 then you're done): https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office-for-mac 

This extension attribute will help you track license types since you can no longer judge by application version: https://github.com/pbowden-msft/ExtensionAttributes/blob/master/Office_License.sh 

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bottsc
New Contributor II

How can I create a smart group that shows computers with Office apps 16.53+ installed (ready for the 2021 serializer)?

jonathan_mcc
New Contributor II

If you don't already have patch policies set up for reporting, set up patch policies for the various Microsoft apps (Microsoft Outlook 365/2019 etc.) then use the patch information to scope a smart group with the "Patch Reporting:Microsoft Outlook 365/2019" IS "Latest Version" (or Greater than or equal to 16.53).

You may want to add all of the applications there as "AND" criteria to ensure that ALL have been updated and you aren't going to break Excel or something because it wasn't up to date.

I have also seen it done with Extension Attributes when people lost their trust in patch reporting. Sorry i don't have any reference to that - search in the topics and you will find what you need.

mjhersh
New Contributor III

Patch reporting is the easiest way, I agree. If for whatever reason you're not using patch reporting, you can also use regex with the "Application Version" property. Something like this, with two criteria:

Application Title - is - Microsoft Excel.app

Application Version - matches regex - ^(16\.[6-9]\d\.)|(16.5[3-9]\.)

I know, that's a bit of an eyeful, but it works. It will match 16.53 up to 16.99. Again, if you have Jamf's patch reporting enabled, use the greater-than operator. Much easier.