Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise on Server 2022
I see that Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise is not supported on Server 2022 via this link. This is going to make many thousands of my users very unhappy to move away from our SBC platform. There are still a ton of community members who are running SBC environments on RDS or Citrix platforms.
Does Microsoft expect to lift this limitation? Or, perhaps even, allow the use of Windows multi-session for QMTH partners like us?
@DJM996 Yes, the alternatives like Office LTSC on RDS have essentially the same TCO as ever - going for a cloud service would allow for better cost savings compared to the traditional model, that is completely true.
Microsoft will know how roughly how many active RDS CALs are in use worldwide, and it's a pretty safe bet that 75%+ of those are running some version of Office. To just end that solution and force everyone into Azure on Win10/11 multisession just isn't going to work, and on the surface it just appears to be a move by Microsoft to drive Azure consumption.
@DJM996 : And this is why there is no move to Azure or Win11 multi-session enforced, there are a couple of other options, like traditional VDI or Office LTSC releases on RDS- which might be best suited for those customers that can't adopt cloud-based solutions.
Hi Janosch, moving to Office LTSC and/or traditional VDI comes with pretty large cost implications - so while the move to Azure isn't technically enforced, the alternatives are made very expensive. If your 365 license also allowed you to run Office LTSC that would be an acceptable outcome, customers would not be penalised for staying with their current model.
@davisray1983 @tabularasa138 Thank you for the feedback, note that I don't in any of the product groups responsible for this decision, I can only advise on the current options that are available, and said to be available since a couple of years now. More information on this can be found here since a while: Windows Server end of support and Microsoft 365 Apps - Deploy Office | Microsoft Docs.
The only thing I could add on top what is documented and said before is that traditional VDI (Windows 10/11, but not multi-session) would also be a solution, though the economics of this solution would certainly not apply to SMB customers.
I also can't tell if Windows Multi-Session support on Azure Stack HCI will be expanded for hosting-Partners/QMTH in the future.
For customers that can't move away from RDS, the recommendation would be to switch from E3/E5 to the respective standalone plans that do include the same service, but not apps, and then license Office (LTSC) apps separately. Yes, it is clear that going this route will increase overall costs for running Office Apps when none of the alternatives work for the customer.
LTSC versions are the recommendation for RDS since the Windows Server platform is also LTSC - only supporting LTSC Office on LTSC Windows is the technical reason for ceasing support of M365 Apps on RDS.
Finally, I'd recommend to monitor the development and release of details reg. the announced changes for licensing options with reg. to options how customer can use their licenses in hosting environments. This might make some Partner-hosted approach (e.g. based on VDI) more attractive for some: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/new-software-assurance-benefit-to-support-hosting-from-third-party-providers
Respectfully, Azure isn't for everyone, and to be honest, this isn't the way to do things. So what happens when you have an E3-5 setup and folks run RDSH/SBC and can't do O365? Does MS expect them to buy it for the on-premise users? I am blown away, to be honest, that MS solution is "LTSC versions." or Azure HCI Multistack. TS/RDSH/SBC exists for a reason for companies. For different types of business, it offers much flexibility over standard Win10/11.
@tabularasa138 : The plan to discontinue support for M365 Apps on Windows Server RDS did exist already for Server 2019 (and was announced in 2019), back then it was decided to provide support once more for this version, but not beyond 2025 and not for the next version of Windows Server. Reason is that M365 Apps follow the modern lifecycle, they are updated constantly and thus they are planned to only be supported on an operating system updated constantly, like Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Never say never, but I don't think the decision will be changed again this time. Also, there is no support planned for Teams on RDS, and also OneDrive won't work properly, only Windows client systems are optimized for this.
You can run Windows 10/11 Multi-Session on Azure Stack HCI hardware systems, though there is currently no multi-tenant support for this scenario - if there is one server/HCI Cluster per customer it would work though (note that it is still preview). Also, you can run Office 2021 LTSC on RDS Server, also Windows Server 2022 - this would also be possible with other LTSC versions and afaik there are no plans to change support for this scenario in the future (again. never say never).
Hi Janosch, thanks for the reply.
As a Microsoft CSP partner, and a QMTH provider, this is disappointing. Not providing us any on-prem solutions, either Azure Stack HCI multi-tenant, or just allowing us to run Windows 10/11 multi-session in our hosting environments is a tough pill to swallow.