IT managers in charge of software deployments, fire up your Outlook calendars and prepare to take notes. Microsoft announced it will ship its third — and final — service pack update for Office 2007 (Office 2007 SP3) this month. As of April 2012, Microsoft will end what it calls “mainstream support” of that release.
After that, Microsoft will continue to ship security fixes for another five years, during what it calls the “extended support” phase. During that period, however, non-security fixes are given only to customers that have paid for extra support contracts.
At first, Service Pack 3 will come as both a manual download and via Windows Update as an optional installation. Three months into the effort, Microsoft will add the update into Windows Update for automatic distribution.
Given Microsoft’s timetables, it’s interesting to note that even Office 2003 is still being supported to some extent, and will continue to be supported until April 2014. However, you’re probably not holding on to that version (are you?). If you are, an upgrade could certainly be justified at this point.