Every Microsoft product has a specific support lifecycle during which the company keeps rolling out updates to offer new features, bug fixes, support, and many other services. Microsoft has set that lifecycle to 10 years for each product, starting from the date of initial release. When the lifecycle ends, you can say that the product has reached its “end of support.”

There are a number of students and professionals out there who are still using Microsoft Office 2010, due to reliance on old systems or some other reason. Microsoft urges those users to upgrade to a more recent version—because on October 13, 2020, Office 2010 will officially be 10 years old and thus at the end of its support lifecycle.

Many people ask: Why do this? Why leave something that is working to rot and render it useless? The answer is simple—while Office 2010 was the best and most technologically advanced suite out there at the time of its release, that is no longer the case. Now, Microsoft Office 2019 holds that mantle with exceptional support and innovative technologies to support users and protect against cyber attacks.

By discontinuing support for Office 2010, Microsoft’s developers and designers can focus on making later versions, including Microsoft Office 2013, 2016, Office 365, and Office 2019, even better. Every day, new security threats and bugs surface, so continuing support beyond the 10-year mark for any product, especially with so much on Microsoft’s plate, wouldn’t make sense.

If you’re still using Microsoft Office 2010, here’s everything you need to know regarding its end of support.

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What Does the Office 2010 EOS Mean for Me?

The end of Office 2010’s lifecycle is just like those of previous Office versions. The EOS doesn’t mean that your Office 2010 won’t work anymore—it will still continue to function just as it did before. The only difference is that there will no longer be any support or security updates from Microsoft. This means that your work could be vulnerable to threats arising past October 13, 2020, and Microsoft won’t be responsible for any such security lapses or bugs.

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Solution to End of Support for Office 2010

With support for Office 2010 nearing its end, it is natural for people to be looking for the next best option. Unfortunately, there are no SQL, Azure, or extended security services available for Office 2010, which means that no matter what, your support is going to end in 2020.

Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to Office 365 in order to prepare for the Office 2010 EOS. While you can also upgrade to other versions such as Office 2013, 2016, or 2019, upgrading to Office 365 is a lot easier with the help of FastTrack Center.

FastTrack Center is a service that can help you migrate to Office 365 quickly and hassle free by transferring all your preferences from older versions—Office 2010 in this case—to Office 365. This service can also be used to upgrade to Windows 10.

You don’t need to buy FastTrack services separately. When you buy a Microsoft 365 subscription, you become eligible to use FastTrack at no additional cost.

If, however, you choose not to go with Office 365 but with any other recent Office version, all you have to do is install your new Office suite and open your files in the newer version. Why is this possible? Starting with Office 2007, all Office apps have used the same file format in order to support backwards compatibility for documents. For example, Word 2010 saves document files with a .docx prefix, and so do Word 2013 and 2016. This means that you can easily move to a more recent version of Office without losing access to your documents.

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Planning for the End-of-Support Transition

It isn’t advised to simply wait for the deadline and then jump onto a newer version, especially if you have sensitive data that would result in a loss if it was leaked or corrupted. Instead, you should formulate a plan, organize your data, and then proceed with the transition as soon as possible.

First, you may need to conduct some research about what the newer Office version has to offer and where it lacks. For example, if you’ve inserted a certain element in your PowerPoint presentation, Word document, Excel sheet, or Outlook draft that might not be supported by the newer version, you should take note of what was in the file before migrating—though the chances of any feature not being supported by the newer versions are so low that they’re practically negligible.

After that, find some time to migrate to the new version. You shouldn’t just uninstall Office 2010 and install the new version right in the middle of work. Getting used to your newly subscribed application might take some time. Go through the new version and get used to its feel. Familiarize yourself with shortcut keys, new features, and other tools.

An example of a new Office feature is Cortana, Microsoft’s very own virtual assistant. While you might miss out on your personal assistant from Office 2010, the newer versions of Office 2016, 365, and Office 2019 give you access to Cortana, who’s always ready and waiting on your ribbon to help.

Once you’ve settled in with your newer version, you won’t miss Office 2010, no matter how long you’ve been using it for!

Upgrading to Office 365 is a very viable option since it has a long way to go before Microsoft declares its end of support. Additionally, Office 365 offers much more security than other standalone versions and access to numerous other cloud services, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

Written by Jade Bérubé Morin Content Marketing Specialist @ SherWeb

Jade is a Content Marketing specialist with an unbridled passion for her work. She graduated from l’Université de Sherbrooke in Communications and has worked as a Communications Advisor for marketing agencies and private companies for the last 5 years. When she’s not pouring over the latest marketing trends, Jade can be found honing her grand jeté in ballet class. She has studied ballet for more than 20 years.