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How to counter rumours of Access' demise

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Since the late 90's you can read or hear from someone or other that "Access is dead" because Microsoft will certainly discontinue/deprecate/drop/kill it soon. This has never had any real basis and it is still the case today. However, the burden of proof especially towards (potential) customers and IT departments is mostly reversed: Not the claimant has to prove his claim, but the Access developer has to prove that the claim is incorrect.

Recently, a colleague had exactly this problem again and I responded with a small collection of links that includes the best currently available signs, statements and official commitments from Microsoft about the present and future of Access:

  1. Main Access landing page of Microsoft where there is only PR for Access as well as requests to buy and no sign of discontinuation of the product

  2. Microsoft 365 enterprise plan page where Access is listed and pictured among the current Microsoft 365 Apps, see also our article Microsoft 365 Plans that include Access

  3. Windows and Office configuration support matrix that for M365 Apps on Win11 states "No end date“

  4. Lifecycle entry for Access 2021 stating a Retirement Date of Oct 13, 2026. This end date for the 5-year support under the Modern Lifecycle Policy, the guarantee that it will be actively maintained, applies to the complete Office 2021, i.e. all applications of the latest perpetual version of Microsoft Office.

  5. Microsoft's commitment that there will be another perpetual version after Office 2021, see question 4 there. So we can expect another 5 years of support starting with the next release of a perpetual Office/Access version in 2024.

  6. Microsoft's Principal Engineering Manager for Access, Dale Rector, about the continued development of the product, part of a Youtube video. 3 minutes of clear testimony which George Hepworth demanded in the Nov 2022 DAAUG session with the Microsoft Access team, to have something audible for such occasions.

  7. Further factual evidence that Access is actively maintained and developed by Microsoft are the monthly bugfix lists in the Access team's blog, which we summarise here on AFo per year, as well as the new Access features that we report on in our Features category.

Ask the claimants if they can show a longer-term guarantee for any other software from Microsoft than there is for Access. And then: Have them say what sources and hard evidence they have to offer for their opinion about Access!

You should be able to win this hands down, because nothing will come except "I heard/read that somewhere." or "The IT trends are..." or "The current water temperature of the Atlantic...

Heavens, cold water today. Access must be dead.

I'll update this article when something new comes up that we can use to good effect in such discussions. Whenever you need this later, use our search here with a fun keyword like "dead", "drop", "kill" to find it quickly.

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