Microsoft Ends Support for Windows 7; Office 2010 to Follow

Does your district have older computers? Then this message is for you. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7. Office 2010 will follow suit in October 2020. Read on to learn what this means for current users, what your options are, and how we can help.

What Will Happen?

As the life cycles of these products end, Windows 7 and Office 2010 users will lose technical support, bug fixes for known issues, and security fixes for known vulnerabilities from Microsoft. You can continue to use these products after support ends, but they will be much more susceptible to bugs and security breaches. Over time, they are likely to lose functionality. You might not notice a difference at first, but the risk of using this older software will increase over time.

What Are Your Options?

Microsoft highly recommends upgrading your operating system and Office applications before the end of support dates. Windows 7 users whose PCs meet Microsoft’s system requirements can upgrade to Windows 10.

Office 2010 users can upgrade to either Office 2019, which is similar to past iterations of Office in that it’s sold as a one-time purchase available for one computer per license, or Office 365 ProPlus, which is the subscription version of Office.

One benefit of Office 365 ProPlus is that it’s frequently updated. If you choose this option, you’ll never have to worry about an end of support date for your Office products again. Each individual Office 365 ProPlus subscription comes with licenses for five computer installations, five tablet installations, and five mobile phone installations, meaning it stretches much further than a single purchase of Office 2019. Plus, the subscription option also includes 1 terabyte of cloud storage.

There are also options outside of the Microsoft family of products. For example, Apache’s OpenOffice is a free software package with an open development process. Alternatively, if you’re an Apple user, you might choose iWork, available (even to PC users) via the iCloud. Another popular option is Google’s G-Suite, which includes Google Docs, Sheets, and other applications built into Gmail.

Note that none of these options replace your operating system, so if you are using Windows 7, you should still upgrade to Windows 10 (unless you are using a Mac).

Regardless of which option you choose, upgrading your expiring Microsoft products will optimize performance and help keep your information safe.

How Can We Help?

Your cyber safety matters to us, and we know that upgrades aren’t free. If you purchase Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus, Office 2019, or iWork to replace Windows 7 or Office 2010, you can use your district’s available Safety and Loss Prevention Grant funds to reimburse up to half the cost.

If your computer does not meet system requirements for an operating system upgrade, the purchase of a new computer may also be eligible for Safety Grant reimbursement on the grounds that it is no longer prudent or safe to conduct district business on the old machine. To learn more about the Safety and Loss Prevention Grant program, or to request funds, visit us online at csdpool.org.

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