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In a reissued statement, Microsoft has reiterated its intention to end support for both Office 2010 for the PC and Office 2016 for the Mac as of Oct. 13, 2020. While both productivity suites will continue to operate after that date, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, bug fixes, or security updates for those applications.

Businesses and organizations, especially those subject to privacy compliance regulations, should immediately take steps to update or migrate to a more current version of productivity suite. The risk to personal users is not as acute as it is to businesses, but it is still serious and should be addressed as soon as possible.

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Continuing to operate using non-supported versions of Microsoft Office would be reckless and irresponsible, particularly with viable and relatively inexpensive alternatives available.

No support for Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac

After Oct. 13, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac. This seems like a firm date and is not likely to be extended by Microsoft because of customer complaints.

While users may continue to use applications found in those productivity suites, over time bugs and vulnerabilities are likely to result in reliability, compliance, and security issues—issues you will have to deal with on your own.

No support also means that Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac users connecting to Office 365 online services like OneDrive and SharePoint may, over time, see those services become unreliable and eventually unavailable. Users of those older applications will not be actively disconnected, but no effort will be made to accommodate access after Oct.13.

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Microsoft recommends Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac users update their applications with a subscription to one of the available Microsoft 365 plans. Alternatively, users may opt to purchase a one-time license to Office 2019. Figure A shows the pricing structure for each product.

Figure A

In general, you get more services with one of the Microsoft 365 subscriptions. This is particularly true if your business embraces cloud computing solutions.

Alternatives to Microsoft 365

If you are looking to update from Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac and migrate away from Microsoft products, there are several alternatives available. G Suite from Google offers web-based basic productivity suite applications like email, word processing, and spreadsheets for as little as $6 per user per month.

SaaS vendors like Zoho offer a multitude of applications ranging from basic office productivity to CRM to databases to bookkeeping. You can subscribe to the most basic office-style service for as little as $3 per user per month.

SEE: Microsoft says more than 25 percent of Office 365 licenses now sold through Microsoft 365 (ZDNet)

For personal use, you may consider open source software like LibreOffice, it offers a complete suite of productivity applications for free. However, the free version does not include any technical support, so you will have to rely on the community for help.

The risk of no support for Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac

After Oct. 13, 2020, the lack of support for Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac means that using those applications in your business or organization could be construed by courts and regulatory agencies as negligence—possibly criminal negligence. The kind of negligence that leads to fines, penalties, incarceration, and bankruptcy.

Continuing to use Office 2010 and Office 2016 for Mac after the cut-off date is just not a viable option. You must update or migrate to a more current productivity suite or risk dire consequences. You have a couple of months to make the change, but time is quickly running out.