Resolve to Upgrade Your Microsoft Applications in the New Year
It’s almost 2018. A new year means making sure all your application are still supported by their vendor. Using unsupported versions means you don’t have the latest features or security fixes, so it’s important to keep software up to date.
For many businesses, Microsoft applications form the core of their IT applications. Microsoft provides support for these applications based on one of two lifecycles. Products under the Fixed Lifecycle have defined end-of-support dates. The Modern Lifecycle provides continuous support without end-of-support dates but customers must stay current on the product.
Microsoft typically supports its Windows and Office versions for 10 years, with the first half being mainstream support and the second half extended support. Mainstream support offers the chance to request new features, security and non-security updates, and both free and paid support. During the extended support phase, new features may no longer be requested, non-security updates are limited, and only paid support is provided.
Once the end of support date is reached, Microsoft will no longer offer any updates, including security patches, or support.
Microsoft Product Support In 2018
Windows 10 follows Microsoft’s 10-year lifecycle and mainstream support is provided until 2020, but there are additional important details to note. Support is delivered via feature updates, and each update is supported for 18 months. You must be on a supported feature update to receive mainstream support. The first update, from 2015, is no longer supported. The second, known as the Anniversary update, will end support in 2018.
For most users, the solution is to update to the latest feature update. However, some chip families cannot support the later update. Microsoft is continuing to support those devices and the Anniversary update with security patches until January 2023, following the Windows 8.1 extended support lifecycle.
Windows 8.1 will end mainstream support in January 2018. Extended support will be offered until January 2023.
Windows 7 is currently in its extended support period. The extended support period ends January 2020.
Mainstream support for Office 2013 ends in April 2018. Extended support will be provided until April 2023.
Office 2010 is already in its extended support period, which will last until October 2020.
Extended support for Office 2007 ended in October 2017. If you are using Office 2007, you must upgrade to a supported version to receive protection from future security risks.
In some cases, large enterprise customers are able to enter into custom support agreements with Microsoft to receive updates after a product is no longer supported. These arrangements can be very expensive and there is no guarantee that Microsoft will continue to offer them, so the best way to ensure your software will be supported is to update your installation to a version that has not reached its end of support date.
It’s also important to note that Microsoft offers a very large number of products and each product has multiple versions. The applications listed above are only a subset of the products that will be reaching end of support or entering their extended support phase in 2018. You must track all your products to know what you have installed and check with Microsoft to understand their support lifecycles.
Prescient Solutions can help you manage your Microsoft software and install the updates needed to make sure you remain on supported versions. Our status as a Microsoft Partner means we’re informed of all of Microsoft’s plans and bring that knowledge to managing your IT. Contact us to make sure you have all the right versions of Microsoft products in place to keep your business supported in the new year.