What does the end of Windows 7 support mean?
Microsoft recently announced that the End of Life for their operating system, Windows 7, will be January 14th 2020 – less than a year from now.
Having an operating system that has past it’s end of product life-cycle means Microsoft will no longer update or support it, leaving your business vulnerable to viruses and malware that future operating systems will have patches to protect against.
Will Windows 7 continue to work?
End of support won’t mean that Windows 7 will stop working, but that Microsoft will stop developing the product, and this means no more security updates. After the 14th January 2020 all technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your work station will no longer be made available for the product.
This means that businesses that continue to use Windows 7 are extremely vulnerable to exploits and bugs.
What challenges will this bring for businesses?
End of Life on software is a challenge for businesses in that often the previous software has become woven into the fibre of their company and key to the day-to-day operations within the business.
Employees are all comfortable with how it works, how it feels and how productive they can be with it. This is especially noticeable when it comes to operating systems. If you or your company are using a Windows-based operating system, you know how you have become accustomed to where the buttons are, how to navigate your system with the tools provided and who to contact for support. When Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in 2014, it affected 40% of the world’s computers. This meant that billions of users needed to become accustomed with new software and required retraining on how to use it.
What should businesses do to Prepare?
Upgrading to a new operating system takes time and careful planning, particularly if you have numerous machines and systems to assess. A smooth and successful transition to a new operating system requires organisations to:
- Identify machines that need to be upgraded or replaced
- Identify and consider replacing legacy systems using older operating systems and/or software with updated technology
- Develop a timeline and budget for upgrades and replacements
- Implement security controls to separate critical systems from Windows 7 machines that cannot be upgraded or removed
- Plan for employee training to learn the new system
If the above seems like a headache for your business, then let us take care of it for you. For more information on the end of Microsoft 7 support, call us on 01628 810 977