October 2025 will be a support massacre for a bunch of Microsoft products

Not just Windows 10. Don't forget about Exchange Server, Skype for Business, and all those Office installations

Windows 10 isn't the only Microsoft product due for the chop next year – end of support also beckons for Office 2016, 2019, and a swathe of productivity servers.

October 14, 2025, is the date. Most versions of Windows 10 are set to be retired by then, and Microsoft and its hardware partners are keen to get users onto Windows 11. However, a raft of productivity apps are also due to drop out of support, meaning a double or triple whammy for administrators dealing with upgrades.

While nothing will stop working immediately, the Windows vendor warned that after this end date, "Microsoft will no longer provide security fixes, bug fixes, or technical support."

"Using products after end of support leaves your organization vulnerable to potential security threats, productivity losses, and compliance issues."

Microsoft would also like customers to make use of its cloud services. Its preferred option would be a sign up for something like its E3 subscription for continuous support and updates.

However, this isn't an option for all. The brave souls running Exchange Server on-premises are particularly affected. Exchange 2019 runs out of support next year, but there remains no replacement.

In 2022, Microsoft said the next version of the server would turn up in the second half of 2025. It was originally planned for 2021, but Microsoft said: "Unfortunately, 2021 had other plans for Exchange Server. In March 2021, we confronted a serious reality: state sponsored threat actors were targeting on-premises Exchange servers."

Since then, Microsoft has focused on patching vulnerabilities within Exchange Server but has steadfastly refused to change the end of support date. On the plus side, when the next version is released, Microsoft has promised to extend support beyond October 14, 2025.

Skype for Business Server 2019 is also due to retire on October 14, 2025, although in 2022 Microsoft said it would "remain committed to supporting Skype for Business Server" beyond that date.

Microsoft also announced at the Ignite 2020 event that it planned to release a versionless on-premises solution dubbed vNext, saying that the upgrade from Skype for Business 2019 to vNext would be smooth, and the new server would be "the easiest path to migrate users to Teams in the future."

In 2023, analyst Directions on Microsoft asked a simple question: "Where is Skype for Business vNext?"

A good question, and one that some organizations have taken upon themselves to answer by migrating to a different platform. Swedish authorities are, for example, looking for an alternative.

We asked Microsoft about the whereabouts of Skype for Business vNext and will update should the company have any information to share.

All of which highlights the risk facing Microsoft with so many products coming to the end of support. While the company hopes and expects most customers to have moved to a subscription model and continuous support, there is also a possibility that those same customers might take this opportunity to consider alternatives. ®

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