Microsoft continues to aggressively push everyone to use their latest and not-so-great software. Everything from the operating system running your computer to the productivity software you use to type letters, check email, and calculate spreadsheets.
How do they do this? They stop supporting and updating the older software.
By continuing to use these programs after their end-of-life date, you leave your computer greatly exposed to virus and malware infections and attacks by malicious hackers looking to steal personal information.
What home users need to know
The three most common programs I see on home users’ PCs putting you at risk are: Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and the Windows Vista operating system.
- Windows Live Mail is a very popular program providing an easy and free way to check your email. It also keeps your friends’ email addresses in one convenient location.
Support and updates for Windows Live Mail, as well as Windows Movie Maker and
Windows Live Messenger, ended on January 10, 2017. While they still function, continuing
to use them today leaves your computer at risk.
- Microsoft Office 2007 – which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint – allows you to type letters, create spreadsheets, and design presentations. Trial versions of this software often came preinstalled on many store-bought computers. You may also have purchased the Home and Student edition of the software.
Support and updates for Office 2007 ends on April 11, 2017. Again, while these programs
will still work, using them after that date exposes your computer to serious problems.
- Some home computer users still use desktops and laptops running the ancient Windows Vista operating system.
Support for Vista ends on April 11, 2017, although many software vendors discontinued
updating programs for it over a year ago. Most new programs won’t install or run on it.
Continuing to use a computer running Windows Vista after April 11 is a VERY bad decision.
Business users are affected too
Most businesses use the Microsoft Office suite in their daily operations – Microsoft Word for typing correspondence and memos; Microsoft Outlook for sending and receiving email; Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets and budgets.
Just like home users, if your business uses the 2007 version of these software programs, support and updates will end on April 11, 2017.
Continuing to use these programs after that date will expose your computers and network to serious vulnerabilities. It could potentially cost your business thousands of dollars in fines and penalties if customer information is stolen or hacked because you were using non-supported, out-of-date software.
How to tell if you have these programs installed on your PC
Open the Control Panel from your Windows start menu. Click on Programs and Features. Look through the list for any of the following: Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Live Mail, or Windows Live Essentials.
To determine if your operating system is Windows Vista, open the Control Panel. Click on System. Under Windows edition at the top of the window, it will tell you which operating system is installed.
What you need to do
If you have any of these programs installed on your computer, you should stop using and uninstall them.
Call us at (812) 386-8919 for advice on alternative software or solutions to replace these no-longer-supported programs.