A reader has a question about the end of support Office 2010:

“Saw a notice about my 2010 Microsoft Word and Excel that they will discontinue support to these programs. What, in senior citizen simple terms :-), does this mean? Can I continue to use these great programs? ,will I need to find a way to secure them from bad guys? any suggestions you can throw our way (short of paying money) would be greatly appreciated by this old gent.”

Word and Excel won’t suddenly stop working. Though after a period of time, you may find they don’t work as well as additional upgrades are applied to Windows.

With the end of support Microsoft will no longer provide security patches or fixes for bugs for Office 2010 programs. That means these programs are vulnerable to malware attack. If you used them exclusively on a computer that never goes online, you would be somewhat safer.

If you don’t want to purchase Office or subscribe to Office 365, you could choose to you Microsoft’s free online Office apps. You would still be able to read, create, and edit all types of Office documents. You would need to be online to use these programs in a browser.

You also have the option of downloading either Open Office or LibreOffice. Both programs are free. They will allow you to open and edit existing Office documents and spreadsheets and create new documents and spreadsheets. The interface is a little bit different from Office but not that difficult to pick up.