Still on Windows 7? Your Microsoft 365 app security updates are timed out

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Microsoft says it will end support for Microsoft 365 Apps on its older versions of Windows after January 10, 2023.

Admins should bookmark the date if they want to keep Office apps and others in the Microsoft 365 security updates folder protected. On January 10, two major events coincide, affecting Office services such as ExchangeOnline, SharePoint Online and OneDrive in the paid program Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) and Windows 8.1.

“On January 10, 2023, Windows 8.1 will reach end of support. Also on the same day, the three-year paid Extended Security Updates (ESU) program for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 ends. While Microsoft 365 Apps is not currently supported on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, we are committed to providing security updates for the duration of these ESU programs,” Microsoft says in a blog post.

“As a result, Microsoft 365 Apps running on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Server 2008 R2 will no longer receive security updates after January 10, 2023. It also blocks new installations of Microsoft 365 Apps on Windows 8.1 devices. We recommend that customers running these operating systems migrate to a supported operating system before January 2023,” it said.

SEE: These are tomorrow’s cybersecurity threats to think about today

Microsoft stopped providing free patches for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, but offered some ways for enterprise customers to continue receiving security updates for the operating system. The ESU updates for Windows 7, ending in January, have cost customers between $25 and $200 per seat.

It has also decided to continue providing security updates for Microsoft 365 Apps on Windows 7 through January 2023, although Microsoft 365 Apps on Windows 7 is not officially supported.

Although somewhat ambiguous, this policy meant that Microsoft did not guarantee performance and stability for these apps on devices running Windows 7, but continued to patch them on the old operating system.

Microsoft urges customers to migrate to Windows 10 or Windows 11 before January 2023.

Microsoft notes that Microsoft 365 Apps is supported under its Modern Lifecycle policy, which governs subscription licenses versus non-subscription licenses, as opposed to Office versions, which are governed by the Fixed Lifecycle policy.

It’s a big deal for businesses when support for Windows or Office products ends, as Microsoft no longer provides security patches for products that are often targeted by hackers. It’s also a way for Microsoft to alert customers to newer versions of its software.

In June, support for the legacy Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 ended. IE 11 was not available on Windows 11, which uses Chromium-based Edge as the default. Microsoft will support IE mode on Edge until at least 2029.

“Please remember that using unsupported software can increase an organization’s security risk or affect its ability to meet compliance obligations,” Microsoft warns.

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