What is happening to Office 2010 on 13 October 2020? And what does it mean for your business?
What is happening?
From 13 October 2020 Microsoft will be treating two editions of Microsoft Office differently, by considering them, what they call, “end of support”. This article covers:
- The versions of Office affected.
- What “end of support” means.
- How to find out if you are affected.
- Office is now much more than just the Office applications.
What editions of Office are affected?
- Office 2010
- Office 2016 for Mac
What does “end of support” mean?
There are multiple editions of Office that Microsoft develops and supports at any one time. It’s simply not possible to keep supporting every edition forever. There has to be a cut-off point where older software is no longer supported. Even if it is still working, there are several reasons why you should consider replacing older software:
- No more technical support.
Whilst you may be able to get help from the web or an IT provider to resolve issues, if anything is severe enough to need escalating to Microsoft, they will no longer help.
- No more bug fixes.
All software has errors, or “bugs”. These problems surface as the software is used and updated. There are teams of developers dedicated to fixing them and making those fixes available to users. These fixes will no longer happen.
- No more security updates.
All software has weaknesses which criminals seek to exploit. There is a constant battle between those trying to gain unauthorised entry and those trying to keep them out. Microsoft will stop working on new protections.
- Connectivity to Microsoft’s Cloud may be problematic.
If you are using the older Office applications mentioned above and integrating them with Microsoft’s Cloud, the integration will degrade over time and start to be unreliable. Eventually, it will become untenable. For example, you may have unreliable or slow performance using SharePoint and Exchange email services, and that can obviously, seriously affect customer service and productivity. Microsoft says they are not actively stopping this integration, but it will degrade.
There is also the broader consideration that older software does not have the same file formats and functionality as newer software. You may be missing out on useful, time-saving features and struggling to collaborate with others.
How to find out if you are affected
It is best not to rely on paperwork or historical audits but run an up-to-date audit of all your systems that gives you the version of Office installed on all systems. Then you have the accurate picture of where you currently are. Most IT providers can do this audit for you.
Bear in mind systems that may ordinarily be “hidden”. Those spare laptops you keep in the cupboard for an emergency, shared systems in meeting rooms, systems that control display units or home systems etc. They may be on your network, so are a current risk. Or, if they are held in reserve, they will become a risk if and when they go back on your network.
Considerations when buying a new version of Office
It is still possible to buy Office as a one-off, up-front purchase which gives you just the software applications. However, most businesses buy Office on a monthly subscription. As well as giving you the right to install and use the latest version of Office it can provide many other services. Different subscriptions give you additional services based on how much of your business’s operations are in the Cloud. Most companies move into the Cloud in stages, picking various work functions to move, one at a time. The moves, or migrations, usually break down into these workloads, although the order may vary:
- Assess Internet connections, both your office and home workers
- Subscribe to Office
- Move email and calendars
- Move data storage
- Move Line of Business software
- Move HR, Accounts etc
- Move telephony
- Consider security and compliance at each step
For many, replacing Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac will be about updating a few systems that for some reason “got left behind”. For others, it will prompt more careful consideration of where they are on their Cloud journey and what planning they should be doing. If you need some pointers on how to think about that, then get in touch with me for a brief chat to see if we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org.