Upgrading software applications that are no longer supported by their developers is a critical step in maintaining your online security. Microsoft will stop supporting certain versions of their products in 2018. This means they will no longer offer security updates to these products.
Hackers are constantly on the lookout for security vulnerabilities. Rather than launching some attacks while Microsoft is still providing security updates, they stockpile these exploits. Once security updates are no longer available, they are able to attack those who are still using the unsecured software.
Microsoft’s Product Lifecycle
Microsoft provides standard patches and updates for all of their software for a limited time period, typically five years. After this timeframe is up, applications are moved to an extended support phase where they usually patches only the most critical of security vulnerabilities.
While these periods are extended somewhat in situations where service packs or “R2” updates are released for particular software. Generally, the 10-year support period applies. That means if you currently own a Microsoft application that is nearing the end of its support lifecycle, you need to make sure you have updated your software with the most recently released patch. Once Microsoft’s extended support period ends, your systems become ripe for exploitation.
Here are five popular Microsoft products that have support and security updates ending in 2018.
Microsoft Azure Mobile Engagement
Microsoft Azure Mobile Engagement is a tool that helps application publishers and marketing professionals gain real-time data driven insights from app users. It can help businesses:
- Measure usage statistics against KPIs (key performance indicators) such as retention and user stickiness
- Enhance applications with reference to usage metrics
- Fix issues with applications with the application of analytics tools
- Segment audiences to create targeted marketing campaigns
Azure was first launched in 2015, and according to recent communications from Microsoft, the platform will be phased out by March of 2018. The most recent Azure update was launched in June of 2016.
Microsoft Parature was a cloud based customer-engagement platform that Microsoft launched in 2014 after acquiring the company, Parature. Amongst other features the software provided a knowledge base for online customers, a chat system to facilitate easier customer service, and a customer support ticketing system that allowed easier feedback and complaint resolution.
Parature is now being phased out in favor of Microsoft’s new customer service platform “Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service”. Existing support for Parature will end on May 15, 2018. The last known update for Parature was released in April 2015.
Microsoft Lync for Mac and Lync Meeting Room
Microsoft Lync was an online communications tool built by Microsoft specifically for the corporate environment. Amongst other features, Lync provided instant messaging capabilities, video conferencing and group phone calls. Lync was phased out in favor of Microsoft’s Skype for Business communications tool in 2015. However, many businesses continue to use Lync 2010 and Lync 2013 for their business communications today.
As of October 9, 2018 support for Lync for Mac 2011 and Lync Meeting room will end. The last major update for Lync for Mac was released in July of 2016.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
Microsoft Visual Studio is a development environment created by Microsoft to help developers create software, websites, web apps, and mobile services for Windows based devices. Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 was launched in late 2007, and while the applications featured in the environment will continue to work after support ends on April 10, 2018, Microsoft does recommend migrating to a newer version of the platform to ensure continued updates, and support. A service pack for Visual Studio 2008 was updated in 2014.
FAST ESP 5.2
Microsoft’s FAST search engine is a search platform made specifically for locating and retrieving information from company networks, including intranets and data libraries. It was used to upgrade the search functionality of SharePoint 2013 (a website management platform) and SharePoint Online.
Mainstream support for FAST ended in 2013, and extended support ends May 9, 2018.
Explore the Right Migration Options for Your Business
Microsoft has published a detailed list of all of their products for which support is ending in 2018. Contact us for up-to-date support for all your legacy software. We can help you migrate your systems to the newer alternatives available on the market.
Also ask us about our remote monitoring and management services for software that Microsoft still supports. We can monitor all required updates and patch your systems for you automatically. Call us at 877-496-1325 or 704-997-9008 and/or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org