What is Office 2003 End of Life

Any person, product, or program that has worked long and hard deserves retirement. Although there is widespread discontent and disagreement, Windows XP after having a good 12 year run is being retired, along with its long time partner Office 2003. There are plenty of New Jersey computer users that still use XP, who need to start considering the options they are left with after XP and Office have their retirement. That end of life date, April the 8th, is just a few days away. Windows XP users need to know what that means for their operating system, and what it means for their primary word processing program.

End of Life

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, end of life, or EOL, it is the name applied to a product’s effective usefulness when it has reached its full potential — essentiality it is the death date when it becomes fully obsolete. Current XP users probably don’t think it is obsolete, but the supplier, Microsoft, has declared that to be the case. When the end of life date occurs, Microsoft will end all support, software, and help of Windows XP and Office 2003. The EOL concept is nothing new. All of Microsoft’s other more primitive projects were let go in the same way, but none of them had quite the landslide popularity that Windows XP has had. Office 2003 had a similar amount of popularity, and people initially didn’t want to upgrade to 2010 or 2013. It has been a few years since Microsoft first announced its official end date for XP and Office 2003, so people have had plenty of time to upgrade their New Jersey computers to newer options. The EOL date is drawing near, and people need to consider their options.

What Happens to Office

Microsoft Office 2003 will have no security updates after April the 8th. This could be potentially devastating to any computer running it. There will also be a lack of free or paid support, online support, hot fixes, or updates of any kind. The lack in updates will expose Office 2003 to a myriad of security risks.

To counter these impending security failures, Microsoft of course wants users to upgrade, quite preferably to their new Office 365 option. Microsoft encourages New Jersey Windows users “… you’ll never have to worry about outdated software, security installs, or purchasing a CD with an installation code again – Office 365 is always up-to-date, equipped with built in security and available to purchase online.”

Unfortunately there is no way of telling who will and who won’t upgrade. Nor is there any way to tell for sure who is still using Office 2003 on their New Jersey machines. Anylists are able to track what computers use Windows XP, but they can track how many Office 2003 customers there are. Chances are, there are quite a few. Office 2003 is one of the things that made XP so popular.  Office 2003 was a very common sense suite of programs that were quite capable and did just about anything a user could require. However, that version of the Office suite was not very secure. Microsoft saw that it needed improving, and set to work. The outcome was the new Office file formats. The older formats were written in a very complicated way, which made them very easy to be corrupted. When they upgraded, they allowed support for the use of those document types, but they were not preferred.  Comparatively, the newer format has remained consistently cleaner. The greatest downside of the improved office was the completely redone user interface. Many consumers wanted to keep the older word-based menu style.

The new Office suite was pair with the immensely tiring and unsuccessful Windows Vista, which many people skipped. Those two combined caused a lot of people to stay with XP and Office 2003. XP and Office 2003 were great for a lot of people and still is, but it won’t be for long. In the last year alone there have been 10 security bulletins for Office 2003, and half of them are critical.

Regardless of how popular Office 2003 is or ever was, it EOL date is approaching soon. New Jersey computer users need to get on the bandwagon, or there will be consequences they won’t like. If you have Window XP or Office 2003, upgrade today. There are few things you can do to prepare. Check with your local New Jersey computer repair technician to make sure your machine is compatible with a newer version of windows. You may have to buy a new computer. if you have additional devices like scanners and printers, make sure they will work with a newer OS. Of course the most important thing is to back up your files to make sure nothing happens to them before or after you upgrade.

by David Molnar

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