Office 365 licensing

Team: there has been a lot of confusion about how Office 365 licensing works and we have given conflicting information to customers. Please read on for a better understanding!

I am currently testing the exact behavior/user experience when the license has expired. It’s…. funky. On our side, we immediately (within 1 day) revoke a person’s ProPlus license when they are no longer an employee with a current job or a student registered for classes.

On Microsoft’s side, there is a 30 day grace period after we revoke someone’s ProPlus license. The user does not see this at all. The Office apps will still have full functionality, will let you sign out and back in, and will not tell you they are about to die. However, it will not let the person do a fresh install of Office. And if you login to the portal, you can check your current license status and see that it is dead. It does not show when it will die completely.

After 30 days, the Office apps will break for real and will be in “reduced functionality mode” where you can view but not create or edit documents. Microsoft says this happens “eventually”. Anecdotally, it seems to be at some point well over 30 days, usually some time over the summer, based on the timing of the complaints we typically get. This is the part I’m testing right now.

To help us better troubleshoot these issues, I’ve updated the Office 365 eligibility KB article:

Please take particular note of the section about how to look up your license status in the portal.

Customers can do this themselves, or we can walk them through it. If they are not eligible they need to take action to get eligible. For students, this means signing up for at least one credit. For employees, it means checking with their business center to make sure they have a current job listed in Banner. There is no other action we can take if they are not eligible, and no reason to escalate the request to IAM.

If they are eligible we can help troubleshoot authentication and install issues. It usually boils down to them not logging in correctly, or having other Office apps installed (e.g. Visio) that conflict with the Office 365 version of Office. Again, no reason to escalate to IAM.

Questions? Please let me know!