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MS changed version numbering for 2016

Hi All,

As I'm sure many of you will notice soon, MS changed their version numbering for Office 2016. Rather than 15.x, the latest patches are now 16.9.

This breaks all my Smart group logic... since now I have to look for two completely different versions. Licensed software also is a bit weird now.

How are people handling this? Just duplicating their licensed software profile, and smart groups, then setting policies to look at both, or...?

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SOLVED Posted: by unknown_err


Just adding the new version after an OR operator works for us.

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SOLVED Posted: by rstasel

So I tried that, and had this:

Zero results. What you have, unless you're clearing the history for patches, would apply all the time, no?

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SOLVED Posted: by unknown_err

Well, that group I showed is used for showing whether a computer has Outlook 2016 installed at all. We use Jamf's Patch Reporting definitions for the patch related smart groups and just set it as Patch Reporting: Microsoft Outlook 2016 is Less Than 16.9 (or whatever the latest version is that we're looking for).

The definition hasn't been updated by Jamf yet though, so it's currently still set to 15.41 for us.

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SOLVED Posted: by mm2270

If you need it to be in one Smart Group, you can try this:

    Application Title | has | Microsoft Excel.app
and Application Version | like | 15.
or  Application Title | has | Microsoft Excel.app
and Application Version | like | 16.
and Application Version | not like | 16.9

In my quick tests, that seems to pull up Macs running any 15.x version and ones running a 16.x version that is not like 16.9.x.

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SOLVED Posted: by rstasel

KK. We have some issues with patch reporting (we're set up as sites of a central JSS), so creating patch reporting reports doesn't work unless it's done by the central admin.

Anyway, do you see anything wrong with the logic of the group I showed? don't get why it would be 0 results.

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SOLVED Posted: by unknown_err

Try removing the parentheses in the criteria. Although it makes sense to include them, we've seen it cause there to be zero results or incorrect results. See if it gives the results you expect. If not, you may need to try moving the criteria that's excluding 16.9 above the two versions you're looking for.

I would also add a . after the 15 and 16 in your criteria so that it's only looking for versions like 15.x or 16.x rather than any version with 15 or 16 in the number.

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SOLVED Posted: by rstasel

Created a separate group that looks for version 16, and not 16.9, then created a parent group that checks for membership of either.

Cleaner to do that way anyway. =/ Really really really wish groups were referenced by ID, and not their name... I really want to clean up my group names. =(

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SOLVED Posted: by bpavlov

I could be mistaken but you shouldn't really have to change anything in your current smart groups except updating the major version number to be "like 16.9.". At the end of the day, when you push out the new version of Office 2016, it will simply replace the current app bundles and version 15 will cease to exist on the device. Check the example in the attached screenshot which is a smart group for computers that are out of date/not running the latest version of Office 2016.

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SOLVED Posted: by prbsparx

Isn't version 16 technically supposed to be the start of Microsoft Office 2019 instead of 2016? Might want to ask on the #microsoft-office channel in Slack.

Microsoft's Office 365 subscription license is certainly making for some version questions.

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SOLVED Posted: by talkingmoose

@prbsparx, version "16.x" and the "2016" or "2019" product names are unrelated. This is a change from the way Microsoft has named and versioned its products.

I'm reposting a message that @pbowden relayed to us on Slack. It may help you understand what to expect.

Here's the skinny on how things are going to play out this year. For the July update (which will be 16.15) it'll be business as usual and you'll still see the '2016' moniker for updates. However, life is going to get interesting on 8/14. If you're activated with an O365 Subscription (as per the about box), and on 10.13.2 or later, you will be offered the 16.16 update and no '2016' moniker. If you're anything else, such as VL/Retail, or Subscription and <10.13.2, you'll be offered 16.15.1 with the '2016' moniker. From there on out, you'll either be on the 16.15.x (legacy 2016) track, or 16.16+ (365/2019) track.

This all relates to licensing, which is either subscription (Office 365) or perpetual (volume license and those cards sold in retail stores). Office 365 is updating monthly and will continue updating so long as you keep your subscription active. Keeping the year in the product name doesn't make sense any more.

However, perpetual licenses are a one-time product purchase and you own that license for that one version forever. Microsoft is keeping the year in the product name for those. So, a customer can decide to purchase "2016", skip buying "2019" and later purchase "2022(?)".

After September 2020, Microsoft will cease supporting any perpetual license that's still named "2016".

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search?alpha=Microsoft%20Office%20Standard%202016%20for%20Mac

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SOLVED Posted: by prbsparx

@talkingmoose I agree... but this is a benefit developer vs benefit all users kind of thing.

I understand that microsoft is moving to a perpetual subscription license.

But every company on the planet that I know increments the major version number when there is a Major change/new license associated with it.

In Jamf Pro to do proper validation of the 2016 vs 2019 - we now have to create a patch title to even do comparisons.
The ability to use Licensed Software is gone.

I now have to explain to users that, oh yeah... You doing Fast Insider broke your ability to use Office 2016 cause they behind the scenes without any major warning to you upgraded you to 2019. Oh, and I have no easy way to pull a list of all the users experiencing it.

Proper version control is as much for developers as for users.
v15 and v16 being Office 2016, fine.
v16.15+ being Office 2019??? I require a new license, a majority of the software changes significantly for volume license customers. This just seemed like someone didn't consider the user impact.

We need a way to track this without having to track the specific license associated. Someone can have the Office 2016 license installed, but the Office 2019 apps...

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SOLVED Posted: by jhuls

@talkingmoose Apparently I missed this post by Paul but if I'm reading right, I should be on the 16.15.x track. I currently have 16.15 installed but AutoUpdate started prompting me this morning to install 16.16. I don't have time at the moment to update and see what happens but this doesn't match up with what I think Paul is saying there.

This would be the time for you or someone to tell me that I'm simply reading this wrong. It's been one of those months. lol

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SOLVED Posted: by talkingmoose

@prbsparx, whew! A lot to cover. 😃

I'm going to steal Paul Bowden's (@pbowden) term "generation" to mean a specific major version of an Office product (e.g. Office 2008 or 2011 or 2016 or 2019). Paul's the major Mac architect for Microsoft facilitating all of these product version/name changes you're seeing.

First, just a clarification: perpetual and subscription are opposite types of licenses. If someone buys a perpetual license, he or she is allowed to use that "generation" (e.g. Office 2008, 2011, 2016 or 2019) of product forever. As with most developers, a perpetual license for one generation doesn't include a license to use the next generation. A subscription license allows you to use the current product until you decide to stop using it. Subscription has no generation associated with it. It is what it is at that point in time you're paying for it.

WHY CHANGE VERSION NUMBERS?

You're absolutely correct Microsoft is changing how they version their products. I'm not here to defend nor renounce the changes. They are what they are. I can tell you, though, they're not making these changes arbitrarily. Once you understand the full picture of any situation, you'll sometimes find you're left choosing the lesser of two evils.

The largest factor in this, which you probably never noticed, is that back in January Microsoft released for the first time ever an Office for Mac product that was built on code shared across Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and that other phone OS. Some of those OS platforms are old. Some are new. They decided that was the time to synchronize version numbers. It had nothing to do with the product customers received. It had everything to do with them trying to align things internally for future plans.

The other factor in this whole scenario is that Microsoft is now selling licenses in two ways instead of one. We've had perpetual licensing for years. Subscription licensing is new. This is really the first time they've had to decide how all of this upgrade thing is going to work. They don't want to keep offering updates for perpetual license customers because at some point they need to recoup their development costs. (Subscription allows them to do this monthly.) So, they had to draw a line in the sand and say "2016" stops here and "2019" starts here. That directly translates to "2016" stops at version "16.16" and "2019" starts at "16.17".

INSIDER FAST BEHAVIOR

What happens with Insider Fast customers with volume licenses? Microsoft AutoUpdate is not suppose to update any Volume License customer with a 2016 (or v2) license to 16.17. There was a period, though, about 10 days ago when this could have happened. If you're seeing this happen today, please report it to Paul in the #microsoft-office channel in the MacAdmins Slack team. That's our batphone into the Office for Mac team at Microsoft.

If you have a user who was accidentally updated to 16.17 via Insider Fast and is running a volume license, you have a couple of options:

  1. Install the 2019 Preview VL Serializer from the MS Collaborate website.
  2. Drag the v16.17 applications to the Trash, install v16.16 from https://macadmins.software and disable the Insider setting in Microsoft AutoUpdate.

The final 2019 VL Serializer will be available September 24 on the Microsoft Volume License Service Center.

TRACKING WHAT'S INSTALLED

Yes, we need a way to track all of this in Jamf Pro. We can already get version numbers as part of inventory and Paul has written tools that help us know which license is being used on a Mac. He's also planning to update his tools and will soon release a video tutorial for Mac admins to help us understand all of this.

BE PREPARED

As far as user impact, I think that's negligible (other than someone who was inadvertently updated to 16.17 with a v2 volume license). Subscription customers continue receiving updates and perpetual customers no longer receive updates without purchasing a new license. The real impact is to us as administrators and we have Microsoft proactively working to help us understand and plan for all of this.

Keep an eye on the #microsoft-office channel in the MacAdmins Slack team. Keep an eye out here too. A few of us will do our best to keep folks informed and prepared. Paul and Jamf are in regular communication with each other. We're all preparing for these changes.

One last thing, if you're coming to the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) this October, come chat with Paul and Jeff Kalvass (Product Manager for Outlook for Mac) at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday. We'd love to see everyone. I'm hoping to also plan an evening mini-event for even more time with them. Stay tuned.

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SOLVED Posted: by talkingmoose

@jhuls, if you haven't enabled your Mac for the Insider program in Microsoft AutoUpdate, then you're on the "production" channel. This is what most customers should be using.

The production channel releases 16 days after the last Sunday of the prior month. That's always a Tuesday. (Sometimes it corresponds to Microsoft's Patch Tuesday for Windows. Sometimes it doesn't.)

If I whip out the Terminal application and run cal July 2018 and cal August 2018, I see:

        July                   August       
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7              1  2  3  4
 8  9 10 11 12 13 14     5  6  7  8  9 10 11
15 16 17 18 19 20 21    12 13 14 15 16 17 18
22 23 24 25 26 27 28    19 20 21 22 23 24 25
29 30 31                26 27 28 29 30 31

August 14 (yesterday) falls 16 days after July 29 and is when version 16.16 was released. You're right on time.

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SOLVED Posted: by dpertschi

@talkingmoose said that @pbowden said

If you're activated with an O365 Subscription (as per the about box), and on 10.13.2 or later, you will be offered the 16.16 update and no '2016' moniker. If you're anything else, such as VL/Retail, or Subscription and <10.13.2, you'll be offered 16.15.1 with the '2016' moniker.

So, if someone is a O365 customer and in the habit of installing the full suite each month to patch; does that mean I'd have to start installing the 365 Suite Installer on 10.13.2+ and the 2016 Suite Installer on <10.13.2?

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SOLVED Posted: by talkingmoose

@dpertschi, first let’s clear up the versions from the earlier announcement. Version 16.16 released this week for the month of August. That will be the last of the “2016” generation. Next month, version 16.17 releases and will be the first of the “2019” generation.

What happens to 16.16 going forward?

If your software is activated using a product key from the back of a scratch-off card and you choose not to purchase “2019”, then your software will continue to receive security and bug fixes until late 2020, which is its planned end-of-life. Microsoft will still support the “2016” generation, but it will no longer receive any new features. Next month’s “2016” generation update will be version 16.16.1. The month after will be 16.16.2, etc.

If your software is activated using a Volume License that is part of a Microsoft enterprise licensing agreement, your company likely pays an annual fee and it’s probably renewed annually already. Administrators will be able to download the 2019 VL Serializer (similar to the one we have today) and that will allow you to continue updating to 16.17, 16.18 and so on. The 2019 VL Serializer will be available in September.

If your Office software is activated using an Office 365 license (you signed in with your Office 365 account to activate), then you can simply allow Microsoft AutoUpdate to move you to 16.17 next month or download the full 16.17 installer and apply it as an update. Of course, Microsoft would Ike you to install the latest version with the latest features and fixes.

To answer your question: Yes, this means we’ll now have two full installers going forward:

  1. Office 2016 for Mac 16.16.x
  2. Office 2019 for Mac 16.17+

However, the version of macOS is very forgiving. For legal reasons, Microsoft is committed to supporting 2016 all the way back to OS X 10.10.

For 2019 going forward, though, it will only support macOS n-1. That means the current version of macOS plus the last version of macOS. (I suspect by “last version of macOS” they actually mean the latest release of the last version.)

For right now, you only need to be concerned that your version of Office for Mac is compatible with your chosen licensing.

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SOLVED Posted: by jhuls

@talkingmoose Thanks for clearing the version information up. For whatever reason the statement from Paul had me confused.

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SOLVED Posted: by dpertschi
For 2019 going forward, though, it will only support macOS n-1. That means the current version of macOS plus the last version of macOS. (I suspect by “last version of macOS” they actually mean the latest release of the last version.)

As I unpack it a bit more, this is important, and folks might want to feedback to MS if you're not keen on N-1.

Next month our Sierra 10.12 machines will be able to update to the 2019 generation with version 16.17. But be aware that come January you'll be stuck at version 16.21 (no more security updates) until you upgrade the OS.

If you (like me) expect to be maintaining Sierra on your network next year, we have a month to decide whether or not to hold them back in the 2016 generation (in order to receive security updates) or plow forward and get them updated to 10.13+ early in the new year.

I've got 1000 Sierra machines today, must satisfy SecOps, can't get them all upgraded by Feb, am not keen on handling both 2016 and 2019 installer/patch packages. Come with me, send feedback to MS to reconsider N-2 support for 2019.

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SOLVED Posted: by rstasel

Do you have a ticket you've submitted for this, or a location where you're submitting this?

I would also like to see N-2 since that's Apple's (un)official line...

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SOLVED Posted: by dpertschi
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SOLVED Posted: by rstasel

okay, so here's another question: anyone else seeing 16.16.2 (16.16.2018091001) show up in patch reporting yet? Wonder how Jamf is going to handle the version number divergence.

Seeing new version now.

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SOLVED Posted: by chris.kemp

@rstasel Can you clarify, are you seeing 16.16.2 or 16.17 now?

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SOLVED Posted: by rstasel

@chris.kemp I am only seeing 16.16.2 (16.16.18091001)

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SOLVED Posted: by donmontalvo

I hope the Patch curators are going to tread carefully...16.17 (2019) is not going to support 16.16.2 (2016) Volume Licensing.

PS, corrected my statement.

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SOLVED Posted: by CasperSally

@donmontalvo

I hope the Patch curators are going to tread carefully...16.17 is not going to support Volume Licensing.

Where are you getting this info? I read https://macadmins.software/ (and slack archives) such that for 16.17 you need the 2019 volume installer... not that it isn't supported.

I agree Patch team needs to cleanup patch definitions are they are now. Right now my JSS patch definitions say Excel 2016 latest version is 16.17.18090901. According to the macadmins.software site, that isn't true (same with other titles).

I think this is accurate
Excel 2016 latest version is 16.16.18091001
Excel 365/2019 latest version is 16.17.18090901

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SOLVED Posted: by CasperSally

There's this related FR where @talkingmoose replies the patch definitions are being worked on for anyone interested.

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SOLVED Posted: by robinsonjo

The Office Definitions have had their Software Title name changed to just "Microsoft Office Excel/Word/Outlook etc" without the year included. Unfortunately due to a technical limitation the change will not be reflected in name, however everything else will update.

Moving forward, the Office Suite will continue to be updated as normal with the 2019 perpetual licenses: 16.17, 16.18, 16.19 etc.

We will also include any updates for the 2016 perpetual licenses: 16.16.1, 16.16.2, 16.16.3 etc.

There is one other spot in the definitions that still show 2016 within the definition itself, that will be fixed in an upcoming release, this is purely cosmetic.

The latest "2019" version will always be listed as the Latest Version. If the latest 2019 version always being in the position as Latest Version is not the most ideal situation for some Admins, we'd recommend creating a feature request for a standalone 2016 suite of updates.

Thank you!

Jon

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SOLVED Posted: by donmontalvo

@CasperSally I misspoke, I meant to post that your 2016 volume license won't work with 2019 (@talkingmoose mentions in his post). I'll correct my post.

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SOLVED Posted: by JKingsnorth
I agree Patch team needs to cleanup patch definitions are they are now. Right now my JSS patch definitions say Excel 2016 latest version is 16.17.18090901. According to the macadmins.software site, that isn't true (same with other titles). I think this is accurate Excel 2016 latest version is 16.16.18091001 Excel 365/2019 latest version is 16.17.18090901

I agree. Patch Management is getting sloppy and isn't kept up with very well, its not just Office.

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SOLVED Posted: by robinsonjo

Hello @JKingsnorth !

Thanks for reaching out and letting us know.

The Office definitions have have been renamed to reflect that they are no longer just 2016 definitions, i.e. "Microsoft Office Excel 2016" is now "Microsoft Office Excel" and contains both 2016 and 365/2019. Unfortunately there is no way for us to push this title change to the already added Software Titles. The only way to see it is to readd the Software Title once again after it's removed. We try to communicate this as best as possible through announcements on Jamf Nation as well as replying to threads like this. Sorry if there's any confusion.

What else are you seeing that could use improvement?

As always, thank you for your feedback!

Jon

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SOLVED Posted: by JKingsnorth

@robinsonjo

It would be better if the Office versions were separated back to 2016 and 2019. Those who aren't licensed for 2019, will show 0% on the most current version if they chose to stay with 2016.

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SOLVED Posted: by sdagley

@robinsonjo What @JKingsnorth said - because of volume licensing considerations Office 2016 and Office 2019 apps should be considered separate Software Titles. As an org with a 2016 VL I really want Patch Management to tell me if I'm up to date on the 2016 track rather than insisting I'm not because I haven't yet upgraded to a 2019 VL or O365.

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SOLVED Posted: by Taylor.Armstrong

Honestly, I think this issue illustrates that JAMF is a bit out of touch with the importance of reporting. This is the kind of thing that can negatively affect people's job security. All I need is for my CIO to see a big red pie chart for him to schedule a meeting with my boss to ask why.

This, and reporting in general, are (in my view) the weakest links in JAMF's approach to the entire enterprise market... I'm constantly having to explain to management why they should ignore dashboards. That's time I could spend working productively.

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SOLVED Posted: by sullrich

I opened a case with JAMF support concerning the separation of the two products in patch reporting. Case # JAMF-0568126

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SOLVED Posted: by CasperSally

@JKingsnorth @sdagley @sullrich check out this feature request would allow administrators to select "approved" version instead of letting jamf assume the biggest number is latest/what you want for reporting purposes. In this office case, it would be helpful as us on 2016 for a few more months could continue to just approve the latest 16.16 versions. Please consider voting it up and/or commenting there if you haven't already.

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SOLVED Posted: by Taylor.Armstrong

Honestly? That should be even easier to implement for JAMF than trying to figure out multiple streams, etc. I'm just a little burned out of trying to convince my new CIO that all the red dashboards are NOT an argument to get rid of the Macs in our environment and that I actually AM doing my job.

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SOLVED Posted: by sdagley

@CasperSally Thanks for the FR reference, UpVoted.

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SOLVED Posted: by nkalister
If the latest 2019 version always being in the position as Latest Version is not the most ideal situation for some Admins, we'd recommend creating a feature request for a standalone 2016 suite of updates.

Hard to believe jamf thought reporting fully patched versions of office as unpatched would actually be acceptable.

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