Microsoft has warned Office 2000 users that it plans to withdraw patch updates from the middle of July.
According to Network World, Microsoft supports business software for a total of ten years by policy, half in ‘mainstream' support and the second half in the more limited support, with security updates delivered for the entire ten year stretch.
Microsoft said: “This move will allow us to provide a more simplified and consistent experience for users across Microsoft products.”
Also being removed from the Patch Tuesday update list will be Office Update and Office Inventory Tool. Microsoft has urged system administrators that still use Office Inventory to switch to its Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
Richard Kirk, European director of Fortify Software, said: “That date is, of course, Patch Tuesday, so Office 2000 users can expect their last security patches for this still-popular version of Office to be issued on that date. From that date onwards, however, if any security threats are discovered with this version of Office, no patches or updates will be issued.”
He claimed that organisations using custom Office extension applications should avoid the temptation to carry on using Office 2000 due to the likelihood of malware being injected into the unpatched holes.
“This is no reflection on the efficacy of Microsoft's software, merely the fact that hackers and malware developers will now be gunning for Office 2000. Companies need to be aware of this possibility and prepare accordingly,” said Kirk.