There are changes coming for Office 2010 and Office 2013 for Windows plus Office 2016 for Mac on 13 October as Microsoft makes their online services incompatible with older versions of Office. We’ll explain what’s happening, to whom and the effects.
Some older, less secure connection methods will be dropped from Microsoft hosted services after 15 October 2020.
Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 can’t use the newer connection methods and so they won’t be able to connect to their mailboxes. This ‘end of connection’ was announced by Microsoft three years ago and should not be news to any network administrator.
This is a different thing to the end of support for Office 2010 for Windows and Office 2016 for Mac.
The two changes are:
TLS 1.2 is required – TLS is the way data is securely exchanged between computers. It’s the modern replacement for SSL. Most secure web pages and email connections now use TLS and should use either TLS 1.2 or 1.3 (Office-Watch.com supports up to v1.3).
Basic Authentication ends – basic authentication is a simple sending of a name and password for login to a mailbox. It’s very insecure and has been replaced with far better and less easily hacked login systems.
Basic Authentication is set off for new Exchange customers and will be turned off for organizations which show no use of BA from October 2020.
Microsoft recommends admins turn off Basic Authentication for all mailboxes and FWIW we agree.
Who is affected?
Connections to the following mailboxes are affected:
- Microsoft 365 hosted organizations
- Exchange Online
- com / Hotmail.com
In other words, mail systems managed by Microsoft.
It only applies to Outlook 2010 & 2013 connecting to Microsoft managed mailboxes. Both Outlooks will continue to work for other mailboxes that continue to support older, less secure login methods.
Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2010/2013 will continue to work as usual.
What to do?
These changes have been a long time coming. If you’re using Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 to connect with Microsoft mailboxes, it’s time to change for your own security and safety.
You still have two months to switch to a more recent version of Outlook. Of course, Microsoft wants people to get Microsoft 365 with it’s annual payments.
Other options are Office 2019 or even Office 2016 for Windows. Both Outlook 2019 and Outlook 2016 are fully supported until October 2023.
It’s not clear if the connection problems will happen around 13-15 Oct 2020 or merely possible sometime after then.
Microsoft is giving out mixed messages about these changes which is why you may have read differing stories about the changes.
Microsoft’s own web pages tell varying ‘facts’. The resulting FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) probably suits Microsoft’s wish to sell Microsoft 365.
Leaving aside Microsoft’s marketing, moving from older Outlook’s is a good move for customers. You’ll get more secure mail connections by upgrading Outlook/Office and that’s has to be good for you.