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Windows 7 and Office 2010: Microsoft Talks of Next Big End-of-Life Refresh Cycle

The countdown clock is starting on a standard desktop configuration.

Much like it beat a drum around the end-of-life deadline for Windows XP, Microsoft is now starting to warn customers and partners that a popular desktop configuration's time is limited.

The new focus of the upgrade talk is Windows 7 and Office 2010. The last big cycle was around the extremely popular Windows XP desktop, which went out of extended support in April 2014. End of support for XP's follow-on, Windows Vista, arrived three years later, but was not a big deal given Vista's comparatively low adoption.

Ron Markezich, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, started the Windows 7/Office 2010 conversation during a keynote last week at Microsoft Inspire. "This move over the next three years represents a $100 billion opportunity for all of our partners," Markezich said at Microsoft's biggest annual gathering for partners from around the world.

The deadlines for extended support on the two products are Jan. 14, 2020 for Windows 7 and Oct. 13, 2020 for Office 2010.

It makes sense for Markezich to be the one to start the drumbeat this time around. When XP was hitting end-of-life, the biggest issue was security and compatibility. While XP was incredibly stable for a Windows release and offered solid performance on many applications until late in its lifecycle, Microsoft was having trouble keeping the aging code up to date with evolving security threats, and compatibility with newer devices and applications was becoming problematic.

For this cycle, the move from Windows 7 represents a shift -- should users stick with Microsoft -- to the constantly upgraded Windows 10 on the OS side. On the Office side, the push will be to get users from the desktop Office paradigm into an Office 365 subscription and the cloud.

Both are under Markezich's purview. He runs the Microsoft 365 business, which is the core of Microsoft's Modern Desktop initiative and includes Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS).

Expect a hard sell from Microsoft from now through 2020 to get those desktops moved to Windows 10 and Office 365.

Posted by Scott Bekker on 07/25/2018 at 11:37 AM


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