Believe it or not, Microsoft Office has been around since 1988.
With 30 years under its belt, it’ll come as no surprise that plenty of changes have been made to the software. In fact, during that time it’s evolved from a single-purpose native app to a cloud-based software suite capable of supporting an entire business.
On October 13th, 2020, Microsoft will be making yet another change to its Office line of products by ending support for Office 2016 for Mac and Office 2010.
If your business is still using Office 2010 in any capacity, this “end of life” process for the software is a great opportunity to make the leap to Microsoft 365. Not only will you unlock many new features and apps, but you’ll be protecting your business from security vulnerabilities, too.
Let’s find out more.
What does Office 2010 “end of life” really mean?
A long time ago, in a galaxy before the cloud, software was a very self-contained thing.
Rather than enjoying “over the air” updates seamlessly over the internet, businesses and consumers would buy the latest version of the software to install across their workstations.
The problem is that, eventually, the software gets out of date – even with occasional updates. Finally, the manufacturer will decide to put the app into an “end of life” state, and that’s exactly what Microsoft is doing with Office 2010 on October 13th, 2020.
What does that mean exactly? Here’s the breakdown:
- Microsoft will no longer deliver software updates to Office 2010 via Windows Update.
- Microsoft will no longer provide bug or security fixes which may be found following the end of life process for Office 2010. (This one is important – more on this later).
- You won’t be eligible for phone or chat support from Microsoft for issues related to Office 2010.
- Online support content will no longer be updated by the Microsoft team, and the majority of the existing online support content will be taken down.
- Office 2010 will no longer be available to download from the Microsoft website.
- Outlook 2010 will no longer be able to connect to Exchange Online, so your emails within the Outlook 2010 app will stop working. (Although this particular change has been delayed until 2021).
Put simply? You can continue to use Office 2010 at your own risk, but it’ll essentially be unsupported by Microsoft after October 13th, 2020.
The risks of using Office 2010 after October 2020
There are a couple of misconceptions out there about exactly what happens after the end of life process happens – so let’s clear those up.
First off, if you decide to continue using the Office 2010 apps – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. – they won’t simply stop working at midnight, so don’t worry. Likewise, any files you’ve created using Office 2010 will still be accessible just as they always have provided you saved them somewhere you can still access. The only exception here is Outlook 2010, which won’t be able to connect to Exchange Online via Microsoft 365 after 2021, as mentioned above.
But what about the risks?
As we mentioned above, the most important factor of the end of life process is that Microsoft will no longer be delivering security fixes for any of the Office 2010 apps.
As a business, this presents a potential (and ever-increasing) security risk. Why? Because the more time that passes after the support is dropped, the higher the chance that malicious third-parties will have found (and exploited) any security vulnerabilities in Office 2010. This could expose your files, your users, and even your customers’ data to significant cybersecurity risks. And because Microsoft no longer supports the apps, these risks will remain indefinitely.
Remember: all it takes is a single vulnerability to expose your company’s critical data and have a devastating effect on your business. You might think that sounds a tad dramatic, but it really is the truth – and it’s not something you want to put to the test.
So, what’s the bottom line here? Put simply, if you’re still using Office 2010, now is the time to make the switch.
Let’s take a look at your options.
Office 2010 vs. Microsoft 365
There’s no question: Office 2010 offers a great suite of apps and can still handle the basics well. The problem is that – in addition to the fact that, after October, it’ll be vulnerable to hackers – it hasn’t had any new features added for a decade.
So, if you’ve been using Office 2010, you might wonder exactly what you’re missing – and some of the handy features you might soon be able to use.
Here’s a quick summary of exactly what’s changed since Office 2010:
- The Office apps you love, but not as you know them. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote are now a totally different animal. Available as both cloud-based and local apps, they’re fully enabled with collaborative tools and real-time web integration for search and more.
- A new business model for a new business world. Following in the footsteps of countless other tech companies, Microsoft 365 is now available as a SaaS (Software as a Service) product, meaning you pay a monthly rate for a continuously updated product. Not a fan of SaaS? You can also buy a standalone version, called Office 2019, and while this version will receive security patches, it won’t be automatically updated with new features as happens with 365.
- Team collaboration, right out of the box. The newly upgraded Office apps in Microsoft 365 aren’t the only way to collaborate now – you’ll also have access to Microsoft Teams. It’s a powerful collaboration platform where you can chat, meet, and work on files together. Want to know more? Check out our comprehensive guide.
- Work on your files anytime, anywhere with OneDrive. With Office 2010, all of your files were essentially shackled to a single machine. With Microsoft 365, all that has changed. Your Office apps are now fully integrated with OneDrive, a cloud-based storage space which you can access from any computer or smart device, anywhere.
- Enhanced (and ever-evolving) security. As support for Office 2010 ends and the vulnerabilities start to be found, the delta between the new and old will only grow. Why? Because Microsoft 365 is packed with security features which make Office 2010 look like a house with no windows. 365 delivers a host of security features built right in, including ransomware protection, file recovery options, password-protected link sharing, and much more.
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic (£3.80 ex VAT per user per month). Includes web and mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. 1TB of cloud storage with OneDrive. Email with 50GB mailbox. Full access to Microsoft Teams. The ability to share internal knowledge with SharePoint.
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard (£9.40 ex VAT per user per month). Everything from Basic, plus desktop versions of the Office apps, enhanced features for Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Bookings, and MileIQ.
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium (£15.10 ex VAT per user per month). Everything from Basic and Standard, plus Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, Selective Wipe from Intune, enhanced user policy controls, automatic deployment of apps, and much more.
What to do if you’re still using Office 2010
Okay, so let’s imagine that you’re still using Office 2010.
As we’ve explored above, the best upgrade path for a small business today is Microsoft 365. Not only will you receive the very latest versions of the same apps from Office 2010, but you’ll also gain access to the new cloud-based services – including the collaborative power of Microsoft Teams. If, like many others, your business is doing more work remotely, this addition is a reason to upgrade in itself.
It really is a whole new world.
If you’d like to explore each of the options for the upgrade, we’d recommend that you read our A-Z Guide of Microsoft 365, which will explain each of the available subscription options in detail and guide you as to which is best for your business. Don’t have time right now? No problem, here are the absolute basics of the available Microsoft 365 plans:
Need help making the jump to Microsoft 365? Talk to Get Support today
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to switching from Office 2010 to Microsoft 365, don’t worry – the Get Support team is here to help.
Because we’re a direct Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider, you can be sure that we can answer any questions you might have about Microsoft 365 – and get your business up and running, too.
If you’d like to know more about moving from Office 2010 before its end of life data arrives, give our IT experts a call now on 01865 59 4000.