Office 2000 Nears End of Life
Has it been a decade already? Microsoft's venerable Office 2000 productivity app suite is nearing the end of its official run, as the company says no further updates will be offered past this July. Of course, your Office suite will still run just fine, but given that there are still plenty of holes (this year alone, Microsoft has issued 15 patches, 12 of them critical), you could be taking chances with your security.
Meanwhile, Office 2000's replacement, Office 2010, is still in development. Microsoft recently confirmed that there will not be a general release of the Office 2010 beta, as the company is opting to do testing on an invite-only basis. So the old suite will no longer be supported, and most users won't get an authentic hands-on preview of the new suite.
[ Microsoft initially said the Office 2010 beta would not be available to the public but later backtracked and said Office 2010 beta would be public. ]
Concurrently, Oracle is feeling pressure to spin out Sun's OpenOffice.org suite into a separate foundation to better compete with Microsoft Office. OpenOffice has been downloaded more than 50 million times in its first six months, while sales of Microsoft Office slump. The upcoming transition to Office 2010 could prompt even more users to opt out of Microsoft's offering and go with such alternatives as OpenOffice or Lotus Symphony.