About a year ago, Microsoft quietly announced the end of support for running Office on Windows Server operating systems in October 2025:
This was the original announcement from Microsoft:
Microsoft 365 Apps is supported on Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2016 only until October 2025.
Direct deployment of Microsoft 365 Apps isn't supported on Windows Server 2022 as it's a fixed, non-changing operating system. However, it's possible to host virtual Windows client devices with Microsoft 365 Apps on Windows Server 2022.
Microsoft further clarified the reason for the end of support in a separate announcement:
Microsoft 365 Apps is not supported on Windows Server 2022 because feature updates to Microsoft 365 Apps rely on changes to the underlying operating system. Office LTSC 2021 is supported for direct deployments on Windows Server 2022, because Office LTSC 2021 doesn't receive feature updates.
Microsoft Reverses Course
Somebody asked me about my article on LinkedIn recently.
In particular, he wanted to know what my sources were for my information. I didn't understand the question at first because I had links to my sources right in the article. However, when I clicked on those links, I realized that Microsoft had changed the content of the pages to which I was linking.
The first link in my article takes you to the Microsoft 365 Apps migration from Windows Server page. Instead of the quote from the top of this article, though, that page now shows this instead:
Microsoft 365 Apps is supported on the following versions of Windows Server until the dates specified:
• Windows Server 2016: October 2025
• Windows Server 2019: October 2025
• Windows Server 2022: October 2026
Since I no longer trust Microsoft to not make changes to their web pages, I'm screenshotting the above text for posterity (and my own sanity):
Public outcry, that's what happened.
On January 17, 2023, Elden Christensen made the following edit to his earlier post:
<UPDATED EDIT> In response to your feedback we have announced support for M365 on Windows Server 2022, please see this link for additional information:
Windows Server end of support and Microsoft 365 Apps - Deploy Office | Microsoft Learn
Again, thank you for your feedback and passion!!
Principal Group PM Manager
Windows Server Development Team
Again, in the interest of posterity, here's a screenshot of the post:
What Happens in 2026?
It would appear at first glance that end of support simply moved from October 2025 to October 2026.
Rather, what happened is much more consequential and important than that: Microsoft now pledges support for Microsoft 365 apps on Windows Server 2022. Previously, MS 365 apps were not going to be supported on Windows Server 2022 at all.
In October 2026, Windows Server 2022 reaches the end of its Mainstream Support. Extended support for Windows Server 2022 runs an additional 5 years after that, through 2031. See the Windows Server 2022 Lifecycle page for details.
It seems that Microsoft 365 apps will no longer be supported on Windows Server 2022 beginning in November 2026. However, what's less clear is whether they will suddenly stop working in November 2026. Personally, I suspect that they will continue to run just fine...but you won't be able to get support from Microsoft for them at that point.
Of course, by October 2026, Windows Server 2025 (or whatever the next version of Windows Server is) will be available and will also likely support Microsoft 365 applications. In other words, there should now be a long-term path forward for running Microsoft 365 apps on Windows Server.
I suspect Microsoft has learned its lesson and will not try deprecating support for MS 365 apps on Windows Server again any time soon. (Or maybe I'm naïve...)
I expect Microsoft 365 apps to continue to be available on Windows Server operating systems for the foreseeable future.