On This Page
- Overview: Office 365 ProPlus (Subscription) vs. Office LTSC 2021 (Volume-Licensed)
- Using Shared UW NetIDs to Activate Office 365 ProPlus
- Support Expectations
- Individual Deployments
- Self-Supported Dedicated Workstation
- Bring Your Device (BYOD)
- Departmental IT Deployments
- Dedicated Workstations
- Shared PC Workstations
- Shared Mac Workstations
- High Opportunity Cost Workstations
- Field Workstations
- Public Access Workstations
- Remote Desktop Services
There are two versions of Microsoft Office available for use at the UW:
- Office 365 ProPlus (Subscription) – the Office 365 licensing subscription version of Office
- Office LTSC 2021 (Volume-Licensed) – the volume licensing version of Office activated via UW KMS or MAK
The recommended version to install is situational, as each version has unique pros and cons. That said, when possible, we recommend Office 365 ProPlus as it will always be the most up-to-date version of Office, including the latest features and accessibility improvements.
UW Shared NetIDs should NEVER be used to activate Office 365 ProPlus to work around user license limitations. This can cause unintentional exposure of personal or protected data. Intentionally operating as a Shared UW NetID is allowed, but not when the intention is mainly to access personal or access-controlled data for another account and for which others with access to the Shared UW NetID should not have access to that data.
When evaluating which version of Office to use, it may be helpful to understand that a spectrum of support is provided depending on the selected version of Office and the deployment channel for Office 365 ProPlus.
Support Levels (most to least)
- Office 365 ProPlus – Monthly Channel
- Office 365 ProPlus – Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)
- Office 365 ProPlus – Semi-Annual Channel
- Office LTSC 2021
- Office 365 ProPlus – Monthly Channel (Targeted) aka Insider
When workstations are owned by the UW and self-supported, Office 365 ProPlus should be used. This is true for Macs and PCs.
When the University of Washington does not own workstations, users should only use software they personally own or Office 365 ProPlus. It violates the terms of using Office LTSC 2021 on workstations not owned by the UW. This is true for Macs and PCs.
When one person frequently accesses workstations consistently and a profile remains persistent, Office 365 ProPlus should be used. This is true for Macs and PCs.
When UW employees, students, and profiles use workstations to remain persistent (e.g., help desks, reception desks, studios, and research labs), we recommend using Office 365 ProPlus, installed using the Shared Computer Activation method. Although more complicated to deploy, this method has the advantage of not consuming any of a user’s five allowed Office installs.
When workstations are shared Mac workstations, we recommend Office LTSC 2021, activated via UW KMS, as Microsoft does not currently provide Shared Computer Activation for Macs. Office 365 ProPlus may work in some situations, but this should be evaluated based on a user’s specific needs.
When workstations are in classrooms, teaching labs, and conference rooms where delays or failures in activation may impact education or operations, we recommend using Office LTSC 2021 activated via UW KMS.
When workstations are anywhere where access to the UW network may be unavailable (e.g., ships, forests, remote regions, or regions where a country heavily controls the Internet), we recommend using Office LTSC 2021 activated via UW MAK.
When the UW owns workstations not used exclusively by UW employees and students, such as those in libraries, these workstations MUST use Office LTSC 2021 activated via UW KMS.
When UW employees, students, and profiles use workstations to remain persistent, we recommend using Office 365 ProPlus. Although more complicated to deploy, this method has the advantage of not consuming any of a user’s five allowed Office installs.