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I receive a lot of questions from customers asking if they should upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Project. And why not? As of right now I work with clients who have all of these versions: Microsoft Project 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 as well as Project Pro for Office 365.

Making the Case for the Upgrade

Here are some reasons why you might want to upgrade:

  • You have experienced a software bug that has been fixed in a later version;
  • Your company has software assurance and upgrades are included with this service;
  • Your current version is out of the support period by Microsoft, which means that service pack updates or bug fixes are no longer available;
  • You feel a new feature could solve a problem you’re having or could add business value; or
  • You have Project Server or Project Online, and you need to keep your Microsoft Project versions aligned with your enterprise software.
Curious about end of life for your Project software. Here’s how it worked for Project 2007:
Program nameRelease DateService Pack End DateSupport End Date
Project Professional 20071/27/20071/13/200910/9/2012
Project Standard 20107/15/20101/13/200910/9/2012
For Project 2010 Pro and Standard Project 2010 Server, here are the crucial dates:
Products ReleasedLifecycle Start DateMainstream Support DateExtended Support DateService Pack Support End Date
Project Professional 20107/15/2010Not applicableNot applicable7/10/2012
Project Standard 20107/15/2010Not applicableNot applicable7/10/2012
Project Server 20107/15/201010/13/201510/13/20207/10/2012

If you’re using Project 2013 Pro or Standard, here are the dates to care about:
Products ReleasedLifecycle Start DateMainstream Support DateExtended Support DateService Pack Support End Date
Project 2013 Standard1/9/20134/10/20184/11/2023Unannounced
Project Professional 20131/9/20134/10/20184/11/2023Unannounced

Making the Case for Staying with the Same Version

Here are some reasons why you might want to keep the same version:

  • In my experience, lots of larger corporations upgrade software only every three years;
  • If you’re not using Project Server or Project Online, you may not need critical updates to continue running your projects;
  • Software bugs have workarounds that you’re satisfied with;
  • You would have to incur an additional software or hardware expense to deploy the update;
  • You have budget restrictions; or
  • You don’t have software assurance, and you’re trying to get the most out of your existing purchase.

The next time you have this discussion internally, think about these points. They’ll help you rise above the marketing hype and make the decision that’s best for your organization.

Do you take other factors into account when you’re deciding whether to upgrade your applications? Share them with the MPUG community in the comments below.

A version of this article originally appeared on Cindy Lewis’ blog here.

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