Microsoft 365 adds additional support for extended offline access to apps

It will now be easier to continue work without an internet connection thanks to Microsoft 365 adding a new feature that supports extended offline access.

This will allow people to continue their work even if they have to endure months without being able to access the internet.

Previously, Microsoft apps required users to sign in at least once every 30 days – otherwise, the licensing token would not be renewed, and the app would revert to reduced functionality mode.

Microsoft’s extended offline access feature is geared towards workers such as scientists, technicians and engineers.

In a recent blog post, Microsoft officials revealed that the 30-day login rule still remains, but the new feature will act as an exception for staff in these sectors, allowing for uninterrupted work with no internet for up to 180 days.

This will allow workers in secure or remote environments to continue using Microsoft 365 without the fear of being cut off from the tools they rely on to carry on their work.

Not all organisations will be able to take advantage of the extended timeframe though.

Those who are eligible should get in touch with their Microsoft account representative to determine whether this is the right solution for their needs.

An IT administrator can enable extended offline access via group policy upon the installation of Microsoft 365 Apps.

Shared devices are more common in certain industries (for example, retail, healthcare and hospitality), so to address this, Microsoft has chosen to enable device-based subscriptions for these devices.

This means that workers will not be required to have their own Azure Active Directory identity – the licences are assigned to the device.

This allows for unlimited access to all Microsoft 365 Apps, including:

  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • OneNote
  • PowerPoint
  • Word
  • Publisher

Customers will still need to purchase the required number of licences.