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Microsoft (s MSFT) will stop issuing security updates and patches for Microsoft Office 2000 as of June. It’s Microsoft’s policy to support its business software products for up to 10 years after their release, according to ComputerWorld, and then users have to pony up for the latest upgrade if they want to keep their machines secure. For home users, that means a cost of $149.95 for Office 2007. But instead of moving up to Office 2007 or the upcoming Office 2010, I wonder if a significant number of Office users will instead turn to programs such as Google (s GOOG) Apps Docs or Zoho?
Confession time. On all of my home PCs we use Office 2000. Most of my friends do, too. Why? Because it came out when we were in college, and we were able to buy it for cheap at the student computer stores with our IDs. We then loaded it on machines that we were too cheap to put the latest version of Office onto. When Office XP and Office 2003 came out, the price tag was far too hefty, especially for my group of tech-savvy friends who had pretty much stopped paying for software and were instead using shareware and free content from the web.
I rarely use Office anymore on my PC, preferring instead to use Google Apps Docs , Gmail, and apps like SlideRocket for presentations. For converting Microsoft files, there are programs like DocVerse. However, for two-thirds of my personal computing, I’m dealing more with programs that handle video and photos rather than spreadsheets and term papers. So if Microsoft’s update leads more consumers to choose Google Apps Docs, that just means fewer file conversions for me to deal with. Any other Office 2000 users out there who are thinking of abandoning Redmond?