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Hasta La Vista, Baby

Office SoftwareOperating Systems

Support Ending for Windows Vista and Office 2007

On April 11th, 2017 Microsoft will be ending support for Windows Vista, as well as Microsoft Office Suite 2007. This means Vista and Office 2007 products will no longer receive updated security patches or receive online content updates from Microsoft, but will still be able to function. If your organization is currently using Vista and/or Office 2007,  we highly recommend that you upgrade your Windows operating system and Office products in order to stay protected!

Why is Microsoft ending support?

Microsoft products, including Windows operating systems and Office products, generally receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years mainstream support and 5 years of extended support, such as service packs).  Once support ends, there will be no further security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

Why should we upgrade?

If you are using Vista or Office 2007, it’s imperative that you upgrade to a newer version of Windows or Office before April 11th, 2017 as Microsoft warns users of increased security risks to unsupported products:

“Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These updates include security patches that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows - such as new drivers for your hardware.”

If you haven't already, your organization should begin planning to upgrade any computers that are running Vista to Windows 8 or 10, and Office 2007 to Office 2013 or 2016. To make this process more affordable for charities, nonprofits and libraries, eligible organizations can get donated copies of Windows 8, Windows 10, Office 2013 and Office 2016 through TechSoup Canada.

How do we migrate off of Windows Vista?

First, we recommend that you take an inventory of your existing software. You can download the free Spiceworks IT Desktop to determine which programs are currently running on your PCs and create an inventory for your organization.

Next, ensure that all your files and programs are backed up onto an external hard drive, and understand that applications will need to be reinstalled, along with new hardware drivers. If you need help performing a backup, you can follow Wikihow’s step-by-step guide for backups in Windows Vista.

Once your files and programs are backed up, you’ll need to upgrade to a supported version of Windows. 

  • For newer computers
    If your computer is relatively new (within the last 10 years), you can upgrade to Windows 8 or 10 by performing a custom installation.
  • For older computers
    If your computer is older (purchased 10+ years ago), it might not be capable of running Windows 8 or 10. In this case, we recommend that you upgrade to Windows 7. However, upgrading to Windows 7 has two disadvantages: first, Windows 7 is now limited stock (i.e. no longer sold or installed in-stores) and second, Windows 7 end of life is coming up as well (i.e. support for Windows 7 will end on January 14th, 2020). If this is your only option and you qualify for Microsoft’s Software Donations program, you can use Microsoft’s OS Upgrade to downgrade* to Windows 7. Once you have Windows 7, you can perform a custom installation.

*Downgrade rights: For Windows 10 licenses acquired through Volume Licensing, you may downgrade to any prior version of the licensed Windows edition

NOTE: Are you using a Home or Starter edition of Windows Vista? Learn about the Get Genuine program through TechSoup Canada. 

How do we upgrade from Office 2007?

If your organization is using Office 2007 products, especially server products, you have a couple of options:

  • Desktop: Upgrade to Office 2016
    For organizations that prefer to host their applications internally, or have a hybrid-cloud solution, you can upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 for desktops.
  • Cloud-based: Upgrade to Microsoft Office 365 Nonprofits
    For organizations that want to take advantage of cloud computing, you can apply for donated or discounted subscriptions to Microsoft Office 365.

You can also refer to Microsoft’s resources on upgrading your Office 2007 applications.