SharePoint 2010 End of Life and End of Extended Support

For users of SharePoint 2010, October 13th, 2015 marked more than just the five-year anniversary of SharePoint 2010’s release. It also marked the end of Microsoft’s Mainstream Support for the platform. Mainstream Support is the complimentary support that Microsoft provides to product users within the first five years of release.

This support includes critical security updates and patches, as well as complimentary technical support and requests for design changes. However, after a five-year window, the product moves into Extended Support. Within Extended Support, security updates are not issued and all support calls are charged, regardless of original causation. Users hoping to fix internal issues within Extended Support, can expect to make significant payments of either time or money.

Thus, for users of Microsoft SharePoint 2010, the move from Mainstream to Extended Support is not without repercussions. SharePoint 2010 users will face another impetus to migrate their SharePoint with the upcoming end of Extended Support. On October 13th, 2020, Microsoft will end Extended Support for SharePoint 2010. This means that come 2020, SharePoint 2010 users will find themselves effectively unsupported.

While unsupported products can still be used, vendors should migrate to newer platforms as soon as possible. Current vendors using SharePoint 2010 can still request support from Microsoft for unresolved issues, albeit at a price. Come 2020 though, receiving any support from Microsoft will no longer be an option. Users will want to migrate as soon as possible to avoid the nightmare scenario of having unresolved SharePoint issues that cannot be resolved by Microsoft because the version is too old.

Where to Migrate?

The most logical progressions for users of SharePoint 2010 are SharePoint 2013 or 2016, or Office 365. This is not only because they represent a continuation of the Microsoft line of products, but because they represent the most seamless transition for users on SharePoint  2010.

The first option would be to move to SharePoint Online, part of the Office 365 suite. Moving to the Microsoft cloud through Office 365 is an attractive and logical choice for SharePoint 2010 users, and clearly Microsoft’s preferred destination for their users. Office 365 provides several advantages that aren’t always available to on-prem users, such as Office Graph. Also, as part of Microsoft’s cloud community, updates, patches, and other issues will be updated automatically on Microsoft’s end, negating the need for any future migrations.

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The next best option would be to migrate to SharePoint 2013 or 2016. If you do need to stay on an on-prem SharePoint server farm, it’s highly recommended that you move to SharePoint 2016. SharePoint 2013 will move to Extended Support in 2018, leaving you little time with a fully supported platform. Migration to SharePoint 2016 will bring a wealth of dividends, as significant advances have been made on modern versions. Above all, moving to SharePoint 2016 will grant mainstream support until at least 2021.

Whether to Office 365 in the cloud, or SharePoint 2016 on-prem, it’s important that users make their eventual switch. As the calendar moves ever closer to October 13th, 2020, users should do all they can to avoid being on an unsupported platform.

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