Office for Mac 2008 To Lose Security Support on April 9
Microsoft's so-called "extended support" phase for Office for Mac 2008 is set to end on Tuesday, April 9.
The end of extended support essentially symbolizes product death for many users, as that's when the delivery of free security patches from Microsoft stops. After April 9, users of Office for Mac 2008 will be running "unsupported" software, or they will have to pay for per-incident support if they are a Microsoft Premier Services customer. Microsoft outlines its product lifecycle policy at this page.
There's a bit of a reprieve. Microsoft will allow Office for Mac 2008 users to download updates for the product until April 19 at this page, according to the company's announcement today.
Microsoft, of course, recommends upgrading to the next version, which is Office for Mac 2011. In particular, the announcement points to getting this productivity suite via subscription through Office 365, where using Office for Mac 2011 is one of the options available. Getting Office for Mac 2011 in this way means that users will pay on a monthly or annual basis, and they lose the rights to use that software if they stop paying. One benefit of subscribing through Office 365 is that users get the rights to updated Office for Mac software for as long as they maintain their subscriptions.
Although Microsoft has said it will release Office 365 updates on a more frequent basis, such as quarterly, it hasn't indicated when the next Office for Mac version will be available. Office for Mac 2011, when used via an Office 365 subscription, requires having Mac OS X 10.6 or higher.
The Office for Mac suite follows a different development schedule compared with its Windows-based cousin. Some of the features are different. For instance, Office for Mac 2011 lacks some Windows-based productivity suite components such as Access, OneNote and Publisher.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.