The obvious question is how long will Microsoft continue to support a version of software? There are still a lot of folks that have not upgraded their Office version for years since what they have works just fine. That may be so, but you are vulnerable to a cyber attack if your software is not longer getting security updates. How-To Geek has a post which lists various versions of Office and whether it is still being supported. Versions that are in “Mainstream Support” get security and feature updates. Those versions in “Extended Support” continue to get security updates but not any feature updates. You should know that versions of Office for Mac never go to “Extended Support.” Only the Office for Windows versions move from “Mainstream” to “Extended Support.” This means that Office for Mac users have a shorter life. As the post states:

  • Office 365, available through a Microsoft 365 subscription, is always kept up-to-date with the latest software.
  • Office 2019 for both Windows will get security updates until October 14, 2025. The mainstream support end date is October 10, 2023, while the extended support end date is October 14, 2025. (Source)
  • Office 2019 for Mac will get security updates until October 10, 2023. That is the mainstream support end date. Unlike the Windows version, Office 2019 for Mac does not receive extended support. (Source)
  • Office 2016 for Windows will get security updates until October 14, 2025. The mainstream support end date is October 13, 2020, while the extended support end date is October 14, 2025. (Source)
  • Office 2013 for Windows will get security updates until April 11, 2023—as long as you have Service Pack 1 installed. The mainstream support period ended April 10, 2018, while the extended support end date is April 11, 2023. (Source)

As of November 2020, the following Office versions are no longer being supported. If you are a lawyer, this means you cannot ethically use any of these versions for your law practice.

  • Office 2016 for Mac received security updates until October 13, 2020. Mainstream support ended on that date. Unlike Office 2016 for Windows, it did not receive extended support. (Source)
  • Office 2011 for Mac no longer gets security updates. Microsoft stopped supporting it on October 10, 2017. (Source)
  • Office 2010 for Windows only received security updates until October 13, 2020. The mainstream support period ended on October 13, 2015, while the extended support end date was October 13, 2020. (Source)
  • Office 2007, Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000, Office 97, Office 95, and older versions of Microsoft Office no longer receive security updates. Office 2007, for example, reached the end of its extended support period on October 10, 2017. (Source)

Whether you are a Windows or Mac user, getting a Microsoft 365 subscription is an excellent choice.

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