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Microsoft Streamlining Office 365 App Activations

The Office 365 app installation experience should get a little easier for end users starting as early as next month, Microsoft said Monday.

Two Microsoft 365 subscription plans -- namely, the Office 365 Business plan and the Office 365 Business Premium plan -- come with the rights to install Office applications on as many as five PCs, Macs, tablets or smartphones. The end user experience for activating those Office installs will get streamlined when those users have reached their install limits, Microsoft's announcement promised.

These subscribers won't get prompted to deactivate an Office installation when they've reach the maximum permitted install number and are installing Office on a new device. Instead, they'll get automatically signed out of the Office instance that's least used.

This smoother experience for end users will happen for Office 365 subscribers automatically. IT pros won't have to make any changes to enable it. The new approach will kick off as early as August, but it's being gradually rolled out to subscribers worldwide, and could take months to arrive.

"The roll-out will continue to Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) in September, and Semi-Annual Channel in January 2020," Microsoft's announcement explained.

Microsoft made the change to address feedback from "customers and IT admins about the difficulty in managing Office activation for subscription-based Office clients, such as Office 365 ProPlus," according to the announcement.

The old experience was difficult because it compels end users to deactivate an Office installation first before adding Office apps to a new device, per Microsoft's 365 Roadmap page description.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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