The year 2017 marks the end of the line for five Microsoft applications: Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007, SharePoint Server 2007, Visio 2007, and Project 2007. Microsoft will no longer support these applications because they are at the end of their lifecycles.
If your business is running any of these applications, you should consider upgrading them before the support stops. Here are the dates to remember:
When the five applications reach their respective end-of-support dates, you can, of course, continue to use them. However, it is important to understand the changes that will take place.
The most important change is that Microsoft will stop updating the applications. This means that you will not receive updates that fix security issues, address bugs, or add functionality.
Another change is that you will no longer have access to any free or paid support for those applications through Microsoft’s various support programs. The free online content about the applications will continue to be available, but Microsoft will not update it moving forward.
Using unsupported applications can have serious repercussions. First and foremost, your business will be more susceptible to cyberattacks because the applications will not be receiving updates to patch any new security vulnerabilities found in them. Cybercriminals often exploit software vulnerabilities to gain access to computer systems. Many cybercriminals even keep track of when vendors stop supporting popular applications. Once the support has ended, they launch new cyberattacks that target those applications.
Having unpatched software can also make it harder to achieve compliance with regulations and standards that govern the protection of sensitive data. If you cannot protect your applications from new cyberattacks, you might be found in noncompliance with those regulations and standards. Noncompliance can result in penalties and higher costs. It can even result in lost business and lost business opportunities as customers seek to do business with companies that are in compliance.
Finally, using unsupported software means that you cannot turn to Microsoft for help. Microsoft will no longer answer technical questions about applications that have reached the end of their lifecycles. The only Microsoft resources that will be available are those that have been already posted, such as knowledge base articles and webcasts.
Using unsupported applications is a gamble because of the potential consequences. However, upgrading can be expensive and time-consuming. Your IT service provider can help you decide whether it is best to upgrade now, in the future, or at all. If you decide to upgrade, they can go over your options, such as whether to keep the applications on-premises or move them to the cloud.