The April 2014 deadline
Microsoft has announced that they will end support of Office 2003 and Windows XP on April 8th, 2014. What does this mean? As they describe, "After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates." This, according to Microsoft, exposes Office 2003 users to greater "Security & Compliance Risks".
Time to explore the alternatives
Some companies and users will write a big check to Microsoft for an upgraded license for Office. But others will see this as an opportunity to explore the alternatives, including open source products like Apache OpenOffice, the leading free productivity suite, with over 44 million downloads. Now is a good time to start planning for a migration off of Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows XP. Many companies have already started.
Apache OpenOffice is available on Windows, MacOS and Linux. It is open source software, which means there are no license or subscription fees required to use or redistribute OpenOffice.