Microsoft logo is prominently displayed on the outside of a multi-story glass building.
Image: Pixabay

Microsoft has a policy that limits application support to ten years for most products without a defined lifecycle. As a result, there’s a long list of products that have been or will be deprecated in 2023.

The complete list is documented as part of Microsoft’s lifecycle site, which shows what’s going out of support or into extended support all the way until 2027, along with tools to search for specific products. It’s important to keep up to date with this, especially if you’re supporting a business’ software estate.

Microsoft products losing support in 2023

2013 was a big year for Microsoft. It launched a lot of products, many of which were offered under perpetual licenses without subscription or cloud requirements. As a result, these products have remained key components of many corporate images and have been deployed on generations of desktops and laptops. Those images have been tested and debugged, working across different versions of Windows, and changes require a lot more testing.

Operating systems

At one end of the scale, that list includes operating systems like Windows 8.1 and Windows RT, as well as Windows 7 if you paid for extended security updates. Support for these ended in January, with other operating system releases like Windows Embedded 8 and Windows Server 2012 going out of support in July and October.

SEE: Make the switch to Windows 11.


Along with desktop applications, key parts of your infrastructure will lose support this year, with Exchange Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013 no longer getting updates after April 2013. You won’t get bug fixes, security fixes or technical support. One minor set of changes that might have a big impact, as governments around the world are considering the role of daylight savings time, is that you’ll stop getting time zone updates.

As Jeff Woolsey, principal program manager for Windows Server, noted on Twitter, “This is not a drill. You should be off of these products. Please do not take the risk of running in an unsupported scenario.”

Microsoft support tools

The list covers more than operating systems, servers and desktop applications, though; other tools for supporting your users show up as well.

In 2023, that list will include tools like version 8.0 of the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT), as well as the Microsoft Office Audit and Control Management Server 2013. If you don’t make sure you’re on a supported version of tools like these, not only will you be unable to provide a full level of support to your users, but you may find yourself out of compliance with your licenses with no way to ensure you’re properly audited.

Subscription services

There are some issues with ongoing subscription services too; for example, if you’re using Windows 8.1 with any version of Microsoft 365, you’ll no longer be supported. This is more an alignment with OS support than an issue with the cloud service, but it’s something to watch out for as versions of Windows 10 come out of support.

SEE: Get Microsoft Office Pro Plus and become an Excel expert with this deal from TechRepublic Academy.

Subscription services like Microsoft 365 aren’t as monolithic as you’d expect, even within applications like Excel. While its additional data types have proved useful, they often depend on third-party providers. If you’ve been using the Wolfram data types in your Excel applications, these will stop working in June 2023. They’ll be joined by Excel’s basic accounting money template at the same time, which will no longer bring in new transactions.

End-of-life for Office 2013

Of course, the big one is Office 2013. While support for its use of cloud services ended in 2020, it’s remained a popular tool thanks to the option of using it with perpetual licenses. If you’re still using it, you should move users to a more recent version to reduce risks to your business as it no longer gets security updates.

SEE: Get Microsoft Office Pro for Windows 2021 with this deal from TechRepublic Academy.

At the same time it’s worth thinking about the future of any Office 2019 installs, as while it’s still within the full support lifecycle, it’s likely to lose access to any cloud services later in 2023 as it moves out of mainstream support. While services may continue to work, they won’t be guaranteed, and Microsoft won’t commit to fixing any connectivity issues.

Dealing with end-of-support

You have several options for how to deal with these end-of-support products. One is to upgrade to the latest on-premises version, possibly switching to a subscription release with SharePoint, or to move to Microsoft 365, using migration tools to move data from on-premises to the cloud.

While this last option would switch your support burden to Microsoft, it’s not suitable for all organizations, especially where there are regulations that require content to stay on-premises. It’s worth looking at the instructions Microsoft provides for how to decommission servers and any associated best practices.

If you’re moving to Microsoft 365 from Exchange 2013, your best option is to do a full cutover migration, as there’s no way to batch mailboxes. Alternatively, you can set up a hybrid environment and slowly switch users over to cloud-hosted mail.

SEE: Explore our list of the top data migration tools that can help you with the task.

If you’re moving to on-premises Exchange 2019, you’ll need to follow Microsoft’s guidelines as the process requires updating your Active Directory environment before moving mailboxes to the new server. In-place upgrades are not recommended.

Some organizations may be using multiple versions of Exchange, where there’s a dependency on specific third-party applications. Here you will need to test newer versions of your software with newer server releases such as on Exchange 2016 or 2019.

Once you have your code updated successfully, migrate a small group of users to the newer infrastructure to ensure they are able to use the new tools and services before moving all remaining mailboxes and decommissioning old servers.

As part of the migration, use log tools to ensure clients are connecting to new servers before completing the migration. Microsoft has made one of its internal support tools available to any Exchange admin through its Techcommunity blog platform. Log Parser Studio is able to work with large Exchange log files, and its query tools can quickly track down clients that need to be reconfigured or updated to work with newer Exchange servers.

While Microsoft’s product life cycle is relatively predictable, it’s important to ensure you’re on top of not only what is going out of support but exactly when. Knowing whether something is supported for another few months or not can help you complete a migration or an upgrade or ensure you’re ready with the right new licenses to keep your business in compliance.

Subscribe to the Developer Insider Newsletter

From the hottest programming languages to commentary on the Linux OS, get the developer and open source news and tips you need to know. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays

Subscribe to the Developer Insider Newsletter

From the hottest programming languages to commentary on the Linux OS, get the developer and open source news and tips you need to know. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays