Office 2007 – released in 2006 – suffers from much of the same problems as Windows XP; it’s brilliant, and nobody wants to get rid of it. That’s what you get for building software that stands the test of time.
Unfortunately for businesses, and fortunately for individuals working for said businesses, Microsoft has confirmed that Office 2007 won’t be getting any custom extended support.
Speaking to the folks at ZDNet, a Microsoft spokesperson had this to say:
“The Office 2007 wave of products will be reaching end of support over the next 12 months, as per Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. After those end of support dates, we will no longer offer custom support on any version of Office products (Exchange Server; Office Suites; SharePoint Server; Office Communications Server; Lync Server; Skype for Business Server; Project Server and Visio).
In the past we have offered custom support for a subset of Office products to customers with Premier support contracts. We have seen demand for custom support decline as more customers move to Office 365. Note that this change applies only to custom support, but does not impact any of the standard support offerings.
As always, customers should consult with their account manager regarding their individual migration plans, and may consider services such as Software Assurance Deployment & Planning Services for on-premises upgrades, and Microsoft FastTrack for cloud migrations.”
The current extended support
The spokesperson mentioned a 12-month period for the support to end; there are in fact two separate dates, one for Microsoft Exchange 2007, and one for the rest of Office suite. Also worth mentioning – both of these software suites are currently on extended support – the free one, offered by Microsoft to every business and individual who bought the suites.
This confirmation concerns specifically to businesses who thought they could get custom-extended support for themselves – a service Microsoft provides for a hefty fee.
Support for Microsoft Exchange 2007 with Service Pack 3 is expected to end in April 2017, while support for Office 2007 with Service Pack 3 ends in October 2017.
In case you are not on the latest Service Pack 3 (why?) – you are already not being supported, so you should probably update.
What this means
A piece of software is built by people – which means it has bugs, issues, and requires constant caretaking to be functional on newer hardware and systems. Microsoft provides this support free of cost… but for a limited time.
Once the support from Microsoft ends, the software stops getting patches – no more bug fixes, improvements, or even security updates. If there’s a sudden security flaw discovered in the Office 2007 suite, it won’t be patched after October 2017, except for the rare exception.
Though Office 2007 is quite old – it released in 2006 – the lack of custom extended support might hit a few major businesses who don’t like to spend money on their IT infrastructure.
It’s no hiding that Office 365 is what Microsoft wants businesses to use – a Software as a Service (SaaS) product is a lot more profitable, and generates a constant stream of revenue.
In return, users also get constant updates and always stay up-to-date with the latest software Microsoft has to offer.
It’s probably for the better, albeit a bit costlier for the consumers.