Office 365 users with multiple devices can now get more out of their subscription with the announcement that the install and login limit is to be lifted. Mac requirements for coming editions of the productivity suite have also been increased.
Previously, those with Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions – which include access to Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote – could only install the software on up to 10 devices, but Microsoft says from 2 October the cap will be completely removed.
Microsoft Tech Community blogger Jared Spataro explained the change will not be limited to desktop computers, as tablets and other mobile device installations also have no further restrictions. This will be welcomed as particularly generous to Office 365 Personal subscribers who, until now, have been able to use one tablet at a time, and one PC or Mac.
In addition to the removal of the device cap, Home subscriptions worth £79.99 a year have increased in value, with the number of licenses being lifted from five to six. The extra user gets the full benefits of the license, which includes one terabyte of OneDrive storage – enough to store about 500 hours of high-definition video or over 300,000 photos.
To make managing an Office 365 subscription easier, Microsoft says users can now take advantage of full family sharing integration, as well as make changes via its account portal, which has been updated to support the software suite.
There is, however, a caveat for those on the Mac side of the fence. Users of Apple’s MacBooks and iMacs need to be aware that if they have not been keeping their version of macOS up to date for the past few years, they will not be able to install Office 2019 or access the latest Office 365 features.
From September 2018, Mac users will now need to ensure they are running at least macOS Sierra 10.12 to get the full benefits of an Office 365 subscription. Apple released Sierra in late 2016, which is a relatively long time ago in tech years, but many Mac fans seldom see the need to go through the process of upgrading their operating system.
The good news is macOS Sierra, and High Sierra from 2017, will happily run on Macs made as long ago as 2009. Depending on Microsoft’s ambitions for the Mac version of Office 365, new features could still be accessible for a few years yet, although the upcoming macOS Mojave will require a machine from at least 2012.
Microsoft says Mac users left behind will still be able to work with their current version and continue to receive mainstream support, but they are to miss out on some upcoming changes, including a simplified user interface in Word and Outlook and enhanced cloud computing features.
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