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Office for Mac 2008 Extended Support Deadline Nears

Tuesday, April 9 is the last day Microsoft will offer extended support for Office for Mac 2008.

After April 9, Microsoft will no longer deliver free security patches to users of Office for Mac 2008. The software will be running "unsupported," though Microsoft Premier Services customers have the choice to pay for per-incident support. 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 on Thursday.

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.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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