Starting with the release of Office for Mac 2016 then continuing with 2019, 2021 and O365, Microsoft has always released updates for the core Office apps on a monthly basis.
That’s about to change, kind of…
In February, Microsoft announced (login required) that updates to Outlook for Mac would soon start releasing weekly. That change goes live tomorrow, March 21, 2023.
Read on for the details…
As usual, Microsoft’s Paul Bowden prepared extra documentation specifically for MacAdmins. You can read the Q&A on his helpful macadmins.software site.
There is no reason for me to rehash his entire Q&A here, but I’ll highlight a few key points:
- Only Outlook will get the weekly update schedule. Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word will remain on the same monthly schedule (outside of hot fixes) as always.
- The Suite installer (that includes all apps) will only be updated on the unchanged monthly schedule.
- The weekly Outlook updates will only include new features and bug fixes. Security patches will only arrive in the monthly release.
- Only the monthly Outlook release (and hot fixes) will be delivered in the deferral and pinned version release channels.
- The existing FWLink link for Outlook (
https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=525137) will always point to the latest weekly release. A new FWLink (
https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2228621) will point to the monthly release. This is important if you are using automation to download releases and will need to be considered in recipes for projects like AutoPkg and Installomater.
- A new Microsoft AutoUpdate channel of
CurrentThrottleis supported starting in MAU 4.56 and will not include the weekly Outlook updates.
Paul shared his Q&A in the #microsoft-office channel on the MacAdmins Slack and is actively seeking feedback. Please join us if you have any questions or thoughts to share.
New FWLinks available
A nice addition is that the Updater packages for each app will be getting their own FWLinks soon; in the past only the Installer packages had them. Microsoft FWLinks are stable URLs that never change, but always point to the latest release of an app.
The only difference between the Installer and Updater packages for the Office apps is that Microsoft AutoUpdate is included in the former, but not the latter. The packages are similar in size and either can be used to install an Office app for the first time.
The addition of these FWLinks for the Updaters makes it easier for anyone who wants to use the URLs in an automation.
UPDATE, March 26, 2023: Information about the
CurrentThrottle MAU channel was added.