Microsoft Kills Off Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Viewers

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Microsoft Kills Off Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Viewers

Microsoft has decided to retire support for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint document viewers, pointing users to a number of alternative solutions like Windows 10 apps.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Viewer apps were specifically developed to allow users to open documents created in Microsoft Office without the need for having the fully-featured productivity suite installed. As gHacks notes, these apps were introduced when Microsoft updated the default document format for Office apps, and were supposed to lend a hand to people sticking with the old format.

But as it turns out, the company is now pulling support for these apps, with their download pages pointing to different dates when links will be pulled completely.

Word Viewer, for example, is projected to be killed off as soon as this month, while both PowerPoint Viewer and Excel Viewer should get the ax in April 2018.

“The Microsoft Word Viewer is being retired in November, 2017. At that time, the Viewer will no longer be available for download and will no longer receive security updates,” Microsoft says in a short note posted on the download pages of each app.

Apps will still be able to open documents after EOS
The company says Windows 10 users can download and install the Office mobile apps from the Windows Store, which are completely free of charge for viewing documents, or install the same apps on iOS or Android devices.

Additionally, Office 365 also comes as an alternative, with a free trial available for one month, while on older Windows versions, users can turn to OneDrive and view documents stored in the cloud with the web-based Office suite.

While download links will be removed, the apps will continue to work with Office documents even after the end of support, though it’s important to know that Microsoft won’t be shipping any new security updates beyond these dates.

This means that any vulnerabilities discovered in the apps could allow cybercriminals to exploit them and possibly compromise your system or access data stored on the local drives without authorization.
 

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