Updated on May 24, 2021
While it’s great to hold onto software as long as it works for your business, there comes a time where every tool reaches its end of life. We’ve discussed what the Windows 7 end of life means for your business, but it’s not the only popular Microsoft product that’s expired.
Microsoft Office 2007 has not been supported by Microsoft since October 10, 2017. That’s ten years after its initial release in January of 2007.
If you’re still using Office 2007 in your company, let’s review what this means for you and your options for upgrading.
End of Life for Office
When Microsoft software reaches the end of its life, it’s effectively a dead product. Thus, since late 2017, Office 2007 hasn’t received any feature updates or security patches. In addition to this, Microsoft doesn’t provide support for questions about Office 2007, or update its online documentation for the product.
If your running Exchange 2007, SharePoint 2007, WSS 3.0, or Office 2007 – your time is running out. End of Life is near. Plan now.
— Jesus Shelby Jr. (@jesusjshelby) March 4, 2017
While this isn’t as bad as using an unsupported operating system, it still comes with problems. Malicious software (malware) can indeed find its way onto computer via Office exploits. Once Microsoft isn’t providing security patches anymore, hackers can analyze the software for vulnerabilities without fear of them being fixed. Those still working in Office 2007 could fall victim to attacks, since the software isn’t safe anymore.
In case you’re not aware, the Office suite includes tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Publisher, Access, and OneNote.
What Are Your Office Upgrade Options?
Microsoft has released several new versions of Office since 2007, so you have multiple options for upgrading. Office 2013, 2016, and 2019 are all available and will have support for longer than Office 2007. Office 2010, however, is not safe. Its support ended on October 13, 2020.
Office 2013 is already out of mainstream support, but it will have extended support until April 2023. Office 2016’s mainstream support (in which new features are added) ended in October 2020. However, Office 2016 won’t reach its end of life until October 14, 2025.
Meanwhile, Office 2019 is the latest standalone version of Microsoft Office. It will receive mainstream support until October 2023, then reach is end of life in October 2025 on the same day as Office 2016. Office 2021 is slated for release later in 2021.
While you can purchase a license for Office outright, Microsoft pushes a different option. Microsoft 365 is the company’s subscription plan, which has several tiers. For a set cost per user per month, you can purchase a subscription that includes access to all the latest Office apps.
The Microsoft 365 Business Standard plan includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher, along with OneDrive. If you like, you can also use Microsoft 365 for your company’s email (far better than using personal email accounts).
If you need more, the Microsoft 365 Business Premium plan includes advanced security and device management options.
It doesn’t make much sense to buy Office 2013 now, since it won’t be supported for much longer. Depending on which features you needed, you could purchase Office 2016 or Office 2019 outright to save money, as they carry similar feature sets.
If you want to have the cutting-edge version of Office, look into Microsoft 365. For a set cost, you’re guaranteed to always have the latest Office version and can easily add or remove users. Buying standalone Office 2016 or 2019 means that you’ll have to pay for the next version of Office when it arrives.
See our explanation of Office 2019’s licensing scheme to learn more. If you’re interested in Microsoft 365 for your business, have a look at our page on the service for more information and to contact us for a quote.
Time to Upgrade From Office 2007
You need to upgrade any old copies of Office 2007 still running in your business now. Aside from the security enhancements, newer versions of Office are better in several ways. They feature better templates for document creation, more features, and user-friendly enhancements. The latest features from Microsoft 365 apps are split off into the standalone releases like Office 2019.
While Office might not be as important of an upgrade as Windows, it’s still vital that you don’t have old, insecure versions of the program on your company’s computers. Any weak link like this could be targeted by hackers and used against you. Don’t gamble with the security of your company by using insecure software.
And if you choose to go with Microsoft 365, you’ll get access to all sorts of handy collaboration features.