Microsoft are ending support for Windows Vista and Office 2007

Microsoft are terminating their support for Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Suite 2007 on 11th April 2017.

Even though they will still function, Vista and Office 2007 products will no longer receive updated security patches from Microsoft, making computers using the software an easy target for hackers.

We highly recommend that you upgrade your operating systems and Office products so that you remain protected!

Why is support ending for these products?

As a general rule, Microsoft products receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years’ mainstream support and 5 years’ extended support). When support ends, all updates stop being carried out.

Why should you upgrade?

It’s crucial to upgrade to a newer version of Windows if you’re using Vista to avoid increased security risks to unsupported products.

“Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive… security patches that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows.”

  • Any computers that are running Vista should be upgraded to Windows 8 or 10
  • Office 2007 should be updated to Office 2013 or 2016

Eligible charities can get donated copies of both Windows operating systems and Office through the tt-exchange programme. This makes upgrading much more affordable for charities.

How do charities migrate off Windows Vista?

Take a look through your existing software. This way you can create an inventory of your programs.

Make sure everything of any importance is backed up on an external hard drive. Unfortunately, applications will need to be reinstalled, along with new hardware drivers.

If you need any help with your backup, you can follow Wikihow’s step-by-step guide for backups in Windows Vista.

Once your files and programs are backed up you can now upgrade to a supported version of Windows.

  • For newer computers: If your computer is relatively new (within the last 10 years), you can upgrade to Windows 8 or 10 by performing a custom installation.
  • For older computers: If your computer was purchased 10+ years ago it might only be capable of running Windows 7. That being said it’s important to note that Windows 7’s end of life is coming up too, meaning support for Windows 7 will end on 14th January 2020.

How do charities upgrade from Office 2007?

If your organisation is using Office 2007 products then you have a couple of options:

  • Desktop: Upgrade to Office 2016. For organisations that prefer to host their applications internally, or have a hybrid-cloud solution, you can upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 for desktops.
  • Cloud-based: Upgrade to Microsoft Office 365 Nonprofits. For organisations that want to take advantage of cloud computing, you can apply for donated or discounted subscriptions to Microsoft Office 365.

You can also refer to Microsoft’s resources on upgrading your Office 2007 applications.


This article is based on one originally posted by TechSoup Canada, which you can see here.


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