Microsoft’s support for Windows 10 November Update (version 1511) ends today. The company’s support for Office 2007 ends today as well.
The fact both of these software releases are no longer being supported on the same day isn’t a coincidence. Microsoft releases regular patches on Patch Tuesday, the second Tuesday of every month, and we’ve reached that time of the month again.
Microsoft supports its products for a predetermined amount of time (usually years), depending on the software and when its updates are released. October 10, 2017 happens to be the last Patch Tuesday for both products, meaning if security holes are found after today’s date, they won’t be plugged.
For reference, Mainstream Support includes free incident support, warranty claims, and fixes for non-security and security bugs, plus design changes and feature requests. Extended Support consists solely of security updates.
Windows 10 November Update
This is the first major update to Windows 10, released publicly in November 2015. Just like when Microsoft killed off the original version of Windows 10 in May, today’s end of support affects Home, Education, Pro, and Enterprise editions. Most Windows 10 users are no longer using this version, so this is largely a reminder for stragglers to update.
Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way from its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes, but new features, too. Microsoft has released many such updates, including three major ones: November Update (version 1511), Anniversary Update (version 1607), and Creators Update (version 1703).
The fourth major update, Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, is already slated for release next week on October 17. You can see Microsoft realized after the November Update that naming the releases after months doesn’t make much sense.
You can check which version of Windows you are running by typing “winver” into the search box on the taskbar or the run dialog box and hitting Enter. This will open the About Windows dialog box, which displays the Windows 10 version that’s running on your computer.
If you have Windows 10 version 1511 or earlier, it’s time to update. Your computer will still work if you don’t update, but you won’t receive new security updates or other quality updates. To get the latest Creators Update, fire up Windows Update or follow these instructions to get it manually. Alternatively, you can just wait until next week and get the Fall Creators Update.
Here is Microsoft’s official stance on version 1511:
Since version 1511 was released in November 2015, Microsoft has released additional feature updates that build upon each other, delivering the newest features and more comprehensive security. Windows 10 was designed as a service, whereby feature updates are required a couple times a year. For most consumers, both quality and feature updates are delivered automatically according to their Windows Update settings.
To be clear, Microsoft will keep updating Windows 10 for the minimum 10 years that it does for all its operating systems: Mainstream Support is scheduled to end on October 13, 2020, and Extended Support will end on October 14, 2025.
Microsoft provides at least 10 years of support for its productivity suites, split into two distinct types. Mainstream Support ended on October 9, 2012, and now Extended Support is ending on October 10, 2017.
Microsoft released Office 2007 on January 30, 2007. The company thus supported the product beyond its minimum 10 years. It received three major updates: Service Pack 1 (in December 2007), Service Pack 2 (in April 2009), and Service Pack 3 (in October 2011).
Office 2007 will still work on your computer after today, but it will become more vulnerable to security risks and malware. Now that Office 2007 support has ended, Microsoft will push those users to upgrade. In other words, Office 2007 is dead in Microsoft’s eyes.
Here’s the company’s official messaging:
Office 2007 reaches the end of its support lifecycle this year, meaning there will be no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates. Customers who are using Office 2007 products and services should start planning to move to Office 365 or upgrade to supported versions of Office products and services, such as Office 2016.
Microsoft’s main objective is to convince individuals and businesses to purchase its office cloud suite offering, which will naturally help the company’s bottom line. For those who still want a traditional software release, Microsoft last month announced Office 2019. But whether you go with the latest traditional release (Office 2016) or the cloud version (Office 365), you should get off Office 2007.