Hi Cloud Partners! As the cycle of life continues so does the end of extended support for the Office 2007 family of products. For customers that are using Office 2007 solutions today it is important to make sure they are aware of this milestone. This can be specially very important for the customers that are in a regulated industry and are required to be on a supported platform or solution and need to adhere to many compliances.
The date for the end of extended support for Office 2007 is October 10th, 2017. This is less than a year away! The full list of the Office 2007 solutions that come under this umbrella are available on this support page: Office 2007 approaching end of extended support. Note this does include some server solutions as well, notably SharePoint 2007 and Project Server 2007.
What does End of Life mean? First, there will be no further security updates made available for Office 2007. They will continue to be usable but there could be new risks from hackers (and this could pose large security exposures) as well as losing support for OEM and 3rd party solutions that work with their Office 2007 implementation. If using with Office 365 services, what works today may not work in the future.
One item that stands out here is how Outlook 2007 connects to Exchange Online (Office 365.) It connects via the RPC over HTTP methodology, also known as Outlook Anywhere, which is a legacy method of connectivity and transport between Outlook for Windows and Exchange. In May 2014, Microsoft introduced MAPI over HTTP as a replacement for RPC over HTTP.
On October 31, 2017, Exchange Online mailboxes in Office 365 will require connections from Outlook for Windows to use MAPI over HTTP. Outlook for Windows clients that use RPC over HTTP (for example, Outlook 2007) will be unable to access Exchange Online mailboxes. For further information on this please see the support article RPC over HTTP deprecated in Office 365 on October 31, 2017.
What is the recommendation for current users of Office 2007 solutions? Of course, the optimal solution for the customer, and for you as the partner, is to get them upgraded and on-boarded to Office 365; from a desktop client standpoint notably Office 365 Business or Office 365 ProPlus. This will ensure current and future support under the subscription model.
Note that for larger customers (over 50 seats) you can get assistance from the Office 365 FastTrack team to assist with planning (including Envisioning, Onboarding and Driving Value) this upgrade process.
For those with customers using Office 2007 this provides a great opportunity to engage with your customers, educate them on what is coming, and get them upgraded to a current release of Office so they can take advantage of all it has to offer!
Thanks, and good selling… and upgrading!