Support Clock Ticking for Exchange and SharePoint 2007

The 2007 versions of Exchange Server and SharePoint Server are set to hit their end-of-life milestones this year.

Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 will fall out of "extended support" on April 11, 2017. At that time, it'll be considered to be an "unsupported" product by Microsoft, and security patches won't get delivered, making it a potential security risk to continue to run it. Microsoft offered an advance warning to that effect back in September, although it used its somewhat obscure Microsoft Tech Community portal to make the announcement.

The Microsoft Tech Community portal, which first previewed in July as the "Office 365 Network," was initially billed as a Q&A forum, and not a tech support space. Microsoft, though, seems to be using it for some product end-of-life announcements. Microsoft typically delivers such warnings through its various team blog postings. Some end-of-life announcements are also showing up at this Microsoft Lifecycle Policy portal page. For instance, Microsoft recently announced the impending end of its EMET security solution there.

The end-of-life announcement for Exchange 2007 SP3 also noted a detail for organizations that are currently using the "2013 version" of Office 365 ProPlus productivity suite. They will have to move to using "the 2016 version" of Office 365 ProPlus. This move isn't an automated process. IT pros will have to identify users of the 2013 version, uninstall that software and then install version 2016, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Organizations using Office 365 will have problems if they are still using the Outlook 2007 client for e-mail after Oct. 31, 2017, Microsoft warned, in a December Microsoft Tech Community post. IT pros should adopt a newer Outlook client before that date and turn on support for the MAPI/HTTP protocol. The switch is needed because Microsoft is deprecating the use of the RPC/HTTP protocol with the Exchange Online service, the post explained.

SharePoint 2007 End of Support
Another Microsoft product that will lose extended support in 2017 is Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It'll be an unsupported product on Oct. 10, 2017, according to this support article. Bill Baer, a senior technical product manager at Microsoft, gave advance notice in September in this Microsoft Tech Community post. Baer recommended moving to SharePoint Server 2016, where he suggested at least the data can be migrated. It's a different story, though, for the server software installation. "For customers who want to upgrade to the latest version of SharePoint on-premises, you will first need to upgrade to [SharePoint Server] 2010, 2013, and finally 2016," Baer stated, with regard to SharePoint 2007 migrations.

Baer also noted the impending end of Groove Server 2007. He stated that it will fall out of support on Oct. 10, 2017, according to an October Microsoft Tech Community post. Microsoft's search page shows this product fell out of support back in 2009, but Baer's post included an explanatory note that "beginning with the release of Microsoft Office 2007, Groove adopts the support lifecycle of the Microsoft Office 2007 suites" (the 2007 Microsoft Office Server SP3 product will lose support on Oct. 10, 2017). Adding to the confusion, Microsoft later renamed the Groove product as "Microsoft SharePoint Workspace." There's still some life left in the Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010 product, as it's slated to reach its end of extended support phase in Oct. 2020.

2010-Branded Servers
In general, organizations using 2010-branded Microsoft server products still have three years of product life left before the end of extended support happens. For instance, Exchange Server 2010 SP3 will lose extended support on Jan. 14, 2020, while SharePoint Server 2010 SP2 will get to that point on Oct. 13, 2020. Microsoft Office 2010 SP2 also will fall out of extended support on Oct. 13, 2020.

Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP2 both will lose extended support on Jan. 14, 2020. Windows 7 SP1 also loses extended support on that date.

SQL Server 2005 SP4 fell out of support on April 12, 2016. However, SQL Server 2008 SP4 is still kicking and it will reach its end of extended support date on July 9, 2019.

About the Author

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


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