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The mystery of Office updates: When and how can I get updates?

Til Streitbörger
October 22, 2018

Office is not just Office, especially when it comes to choosing the “right" package. Basically, there are two version “types" to distinguish: On the one hand the subscription version Office 365 and on the other hand the possibility to buy a version once. This option only applies to Office 2016 and Office 2019, where the one-time purchase of the software purchases a perpetual license that does not receive feature updates. Only updates for quality and security patches are installed. This is not the case with Office 365, which provides permanent automatic updates.

Three different update channels can be distinguished:

  1. Monthly Channel: This variant is the fastest. The user is provided with the latest functions as soon as they are available. This channel offers users the opportunity to test new features. Not infrequently there are bugs, so this channel is potentially more unstable.
  2. Semi-Annual Channel: The user only receives updates every six months (January and July). This variant is to be regarded as the “stable", since updates have already been tested by the other variants.
  3. Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted): Available before Semi-Annual channel (March and September). This channel offers the possibility to test the next version of the half-yearly channel.

So there are a few things to consider when choosing your Office version. However, if you are interested in stable updates, you should decide for the second variant. If you are about to decide whether Office 365 or Office 2019, this article might be interesting for you.

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