What You Need To Know About Microsoft's Support Lifecycle
All Microsoft products have a well-known support lifecycle. On any product, Microsoft offers updates, bug fixes, general support, and other services for the full cycle of the product's life. The lifecycle for all Microsoft products is 10 years, starting with the date of the initial product release. After exactly 10 years, the product will have reached its official "end of support" (EOS).
There are a couple products with EOS in 2019, most notably, Microsoft Office 2010. Many students and professionals are still on the older Microsoft Office version, due to issues like budget or reliance on or compatibility with older systems. As of October 13, 2020, Office 2010 will be at the end of its lifecycle, meaning all users will need to transition to a new product, or risk issues that come along with lack of support and security updates for the old version. Without support or security updates, work could be vulnerable to threats, and Microsoft would not be responsible.
The reason for ending support of a product is so that Microsoft’s developers and designers can work on making and supporting later versions. In the case of Office 2010, teams would be able to reallocate resources away from Office 2010, and begin a greater focus on newer products like Office 2013, 2016, Office 365, and Office 2019. Microsoft puts innovation and improvements at the forefront of its business model, and so allocating resources to improve more recent versions makes more sense than offering support for old and out dated software.
There are no SQL, Azure, or extended security services available for Office 2010, so the bottom line is that the support will end in 2020. It is Microsoft’s recommendation that users upgrade to Office 365, which comes with a service called FastTrack. FastTrack helps business migrate to Office365 quickly, by transferring all preferences over to new versions. FastTrack comes free with a Microsoft 365 subscription, making it easy for organization to transition from Office 2010, without fear of compromising work.
Upgrading to Office 365 is a very recommended option since it has a long way to go before its EOS. Additionally, Office 365 offers much more security than other standalone versions and access to numerous other cloud services, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.
Other Products Reaching EOS This year
In addition to Office 2010, there are a few additional products that will reach their EOS lifecycle in 2019.
Windows 10, version 1709 (Home, Pro, Pro for Workstation, IoT Core) Windows Server, version 1709 (Datacenter Core, Standard Core
April 9, 2019
September 20, 2019
Visio Services in SharePoint Online
September 30, 2019
Windows 10, version 1803 (Home, Pro, Pro for Workstation, IoT Core) Windows Server, version 1803 (Datacenter Core, Standard Core
November 12, 2019
November 16, 2019
Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise, released in October 2017 Windows 10 Mobile, released in October 2017
December 10, 2019
Upgrading to New Versions
EOS of Office 2010 is quickly approaching, but with any Microsoft product, it isn't recommended that businesses upgrade too close to the EOS date, especially with sensitive data. Company's should take the time to upgrade and get used to the new product, features, and set up. This makes the transition seamless, and allows users time to get used to the new interface and options.