Soon Windows 7 and perhaps Office 2010 users will start seeing on-screen reminders that support for the two products is ending with sales pitches for Office 365 and Windows 10.
Windows 7 support, including security updates, ends on 14 January 2020.
Office 2010 support, according to Microsoft, ends ‘shortly thereafter’. It’s actually 9 months later on 13 October 2020. Much more time than Microsoft hints at.
There’s nothing really new about this. Microsoft has always used their lifecycle policies to push customers into buying the latest Windows or Office instead of staying with the older, perfectly adequate, software.
Microsoft take on all this is called Making the transition to Windows 10 and Office 365 implying those are customers only choices, which is far from true.
The only difference is that Microsoft is pushier, in more ways than one. They push software updates to Windows 7 and Office 2010 users which include these unsubtle sales promotions (sorry ‘courtesy reminders’).
There’s a small risk of problems using unsupported software, but those risks are overstated by companies who want to sell you more stuff. Careful computer users should have little to fear from continuing to use Windows 7 and Office 2010, at least until they are ready to upgrade their entire computer.
Office 2010 – what to do?
If you’re happy with Office 2010, stay with it. Office 2010 will be supported for the next 18 months, so there’s no hurry.
Migrating from Office 2010 to Office 365 isn’t as simple as Microsoft makes out.
In theory, uninstall Office 2010 and get Office 365 but it’s not that easy. Office 365 requires Windows 10, so you’d have to change that as well. As we’ll see, that’s not easy either.
Windows 7 – what to do?
If you’re happy with Windows 7, don’t panic. It’ll be getting security updates for more than 9 months yet.
Microsoft says any computer running Windows 7 can run Windows 10. If you believe that, we have several famous bridges to offer at very reasonable prices (Golden Gate, Tower, Millau, Sydney etc.) <g>.
In hardware terms, most computers running Windows 7 will be quite old by 2019 standards. Windows 10 will work on those computers but be terribly slow.
There’s no direct migration path from Windows 7 to Windows 10. You’ll have to save all your files, emails, programs etc off the computer. Then install Windows 10 plus all your existing programs (assuming they are all compatible) plus all your files, emails etc. As geeks say it’s a ‘non-trivial’ job.
Time for a new computer?
Overall, better to get a replacement computer rather than adding Windows 10 to outdated hardware. Take the opportunity to get a replacement computer which will properly run Windows 10(you’ve got almost a year to shop around).
Once you have Windows 10, there’s nothing to stop you installing Office 2010. While Office 2010 isn’t officially supported on Win10, plenty of people do it anyway. There may be a problem with some Access database engine issues but, aside from that, it works fine.