12 November 2010

Member Survey Gives Advice About Office Support

Office add-ons from Business Solutions will leverage your Microsoft How far back should we support? We begun asking ourselves that question after the release of Office 2010, when we had a situation where we supported five Office versions. Five versions are more than what is common in the business, but on the other hand Business Solutions is not ‒ and should not be! ‒ a common software developer.

But if we don't use our resources in the best possible way? Of course we want our products to be compatible with as many Office versions as possible, but on the other hand most Members of Community have modern environments. Should we spend time developing and testing our products for all five versions of Outlook, or is it better to take the time we use on the lower versions and spend it on other development instead?

To get an answer to that question we decided to ask the users ‒ the Members of Community. Our development efforts are for them, so getting their opinions was the right thing to do. Peter, our CEO, sent an e-mail to all Community Members to ask their advice, and now most of them have answered.

The information we received shows that we can take away support for Outlook 2000 and 2002 without problems. From now on we will no longer test new versions of our products on Outlook 2000 and 2002.

For Outlook 2003 the situation is different. A number of Members still use Outlook 2003, but most of them mentioned that they plan to upgrade soon or at least during 2011. We will therefore keep the support for Outlook 2003 for now and assess the situation again by the end of 2011.

We are grateful for all replies. Now we can feel certain we have made a good decision, and we must not ask ourselves if we might have left users stranded out there. We will still give support for Outlook 2003 for the organizations who need it, but by giving up the support for the lower versions we will have more time for product enhancements and maybe even new products.

Members, we have of course saved the info about your Office versions, so please tell us when you upgrade so that we can change our records. Thank you all!

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