Office 2007 support ends early – but don’t panic
Many media reports about an early end to Office 2007 support which are true, but not for the vast majority. Some press either didn’t understand what’s happening or decided to ‘spin’ it for clickbait.
Microsoft needs to accept some blame for this confusion because they didn’t publicly announce the change so the news spread by rumor instead.
Office 2007 support status
Office 2007 with Service Pack 3 has already ended ‘Mainstream Support’ back in October 2012.
‘Extended Support’ for Office 2007 SP3 ends in about 11 months; 10 October 2017. After that date Redmond won’t produce any more security patches or updates for Office 2007.
You can still use Office 2007 software after October 2017. It will continue to work. But there’ll be no more fixes for security flaws or bugs.
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Of course, Microsoft would like Office 2007 users (individual and corporate) to spend more money and buy newer Office. Preferably, the annual fee Office 365 ‘subscription’.
So … what’s changed?
Beyond the ‘Extended Support’ date there’s a little-known option for big organizations and governments. They can pay Microsoft to continue making security updates for the product. This is known as custom support for Premier support contracts.
Custom extensions have happened before. The UK government paid Microsoft to support Windows XP for an additional year.
Microsoft has now said they will not offer this custom extension for Office 2007. Large volume customers will either have to switch from Office 2007 or keep using it without security updates.
It’s an issue for IT departments running Exchange Server 2007 SP3 which ends Extended Support in April 2017. More recent versions of Outlook will not work with Exchange Server 2007 so if organizations move away from Office 2007 they’ll have to upgrade their Exchange Server first. Exchange Server 2007 SP3 extended supports ends before Office 2007 so there’s a 6 months-ish support gap to consider.
That’s the only thing that’s changed about Office 2007 support – the custom extension for really large customers. None of the standard support dates for individuals or most volume licence users have altered.