Don’t panic, Office 2010 support ends a year from now

Microsoft has started its usual sales campaign to go with the end of support for Office 2010 in a year from now. There are alternatives beyond what Microsoft is selling.

In a self-serving blog headed “Support for Office 2010 is ending—get current with Office 365 ProPlus” we see the tiresomely familiar marketing strategy playing out.  Encouraging customers to switch with dire and premature warnings about the end of support, combined with a push to buy the most expensive alternative.

Office 2010 ‘ends’ on 13 October 2020

In a year from now, Office 2010 will stop getting bug and security patches. Tech support from Microsoft will also stop.

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The software will continue to work normally.

If there are newly discovered security bugs in Office 2010, Microsoft won’t fix them.

What to do?

Microsoft says customers should start planning and switching now.

That’s true for large organizations however the rush to change is mostly motivated by Microsoft’s desire to make a sale sooner rather than later.

Small organizations and individuals might choose to stick with Office 2010 past October 2020.  Or wait until much sooner to the end of support before deciding.

Office 365 or Office 2019

If switching from Office 2010, what are the alternatives?

Microsoft is clear about their preference saying:

“So my message to you today: Upgrade to Office 365 ProPlus”

Office 365 is Microsoft’s choice because it’s more profitable.  As an annual ‘subscription’ they make more money from it.

Microsoft promotes Office 365 with the promise of ongoing innovation and updates to the software.  That’s despite many customers not wanting change or innovation … these customers want stable and unchanging software.

The alternative is Office 2019.  Paying a single price for known, fixed software.

Microsoft’s Office 2010 end of support roadmap has more information and less marketing hype.

Beyond Office 365 or 2019

There are alternatives beyond the currently sold Microsoft Office packages that are being pushed.

If the needs of users are modest, maybe the full Office software isn’t necessary.  Perhaps only some staff need the full power of Office 365/2010 software?

Office 365 Business E1 plan gives access to Microsoft’s online services; Exchange Server mail hosting, OneDrive, Sharepoint and Teams.  The web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook can be enough for some staff.

There are free or low-cost Microsoft Office alternatives like LibreOffice, Open Office or WPS Office.