Office for Mac 2008 support ends April 2013

Effective April 9, Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 will be end-of-lifed according to Microsoft’s published lifecycle policy. This is in accordance with its history of supporting each version of Office for Mac for five or more years.

Microsoft stopped adding features to Office 2008 after its 12.2.9 update, which included support for SkyDrive and enhancements for SharePoint users. In the past two years it has released half a dozen updates focussed solely on security issues and bug fixes.

All software, whether explicitly stated by its developer or not, has a lifecycle. A lifecycle is simply the span of time the developer will support the product. Some developers will offer upgrades to newer versions while others simply cease support or abandon development altogether. As Microsoft releases new products it updates its lifecycle index.

What does this mean for current users of Office 2008?

Customers who are still using Office 2008 should expect the following:

  • Microsoft will release no further updates for security, bug fixes and product improvements. This includes holidays beyond 2012 and daylight saving time changes.
  • Microsoft will not offer telephone or email support.
  • Online forums such as Microsoft Answers will continue offering peer support.
  • Office 2008 will not expire and will continue working, however, it may be incompatible with future versions of OS X and other third party products as they are updated and upgraded.

Customers should begin planning how they want to transition from Office 2008. Of note, Apple’s aggressive OS X development strategy of a new upgrade every year could mean that Office 2008 will stop working sooner rather than later. Some options:

To date, Microsoft has made no announcements with regard to the next version of Office for Mac after version 2011 nor about offering a subscription-based version of Office for Mac. For additional information about lifecycle dates, refer to our list of Release dates.

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2 comments to Office for Mac 2008 support ends April 2013

  • John Davis

    I haven’t used Office for literally years. There’s really no need to. There are so many alternatives.

    Bean, TexEdit – fast and basic, similar to Word 5.1 except that they are stable.

    Scrivener – excellent app for writing, superbly designed for the writer.

    Nisus – very capable word processor.

    Pages – makes it very easy to produce good looking documents.

    Numbers – may not have the power of Excel, but, personally, I don’t need that. Again, very easy to produce good looking documents.

    Keynote – Way, way better than PowerPoint.

    And with TypeIt4Me, you can create your own shorthand and type at the speed of speech.

    All the above apps open Office docs and can save in various doc formats, so there really is no need for MS Office.

    Let it die a natural death.

    • Just to be clear, the Office for Mac product is still alive. Only this version is coming to end-of-life.

      Thank you, though, for your list of alternatives. Mac users have plenty of options if they choose not to upgrade to a newer version.