Admittedly, that was more over two years later than the original deadline. But Microsoft's last-minute reprieve of Office for Mac 2004 was a one-time deal, as the MacBU made plain at the time. "This extension does not change the five-year support policy for other Office for Mac products, including future versions," a senior product manager said then.
Microsoft extended support for Office for Mac 2004 to allow its users, many of whom relied on Visual Basic-based macros, time to migrate to the impending Office for Mac 2011, which launched in October 2010. Office for Mac 2008 dropped support for Visual Basic macros, but that support was restored in Office for Mac 2011.
Yesterday, MacBU recommended that customers running Office for Mac 2004 migrate to Office 365, the line of subscription plans that lets users install Office for Mac Home & Business 2011 on up to five Macs. The consumer subscription plan, Office 365 Home Premium, costs $100 per year.
They can also opt for a "perpetual" license of Office for Mac 2011, the traditional kind that is paid for once, but can be used as long as wanted. Office for Mac Home and Student lists for $140, while the for-commercial-use Home and Business sells for $220.
Customers, however, have less than three more years before Office for Mac 2011 falls off Microsoft's support list in January 2016.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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