Support for Windows 7 is ending – what should I do?

In many ways this will be a sad goodbye. Considered by most to be the most stable Operating system ever released by Microsoft (and still a better option than its best forgotten successor Windows 8), extended support for Microsoft Windows 7 is now in sight. On January 14th 2020, extended support for Windows 7, which includes updates, bug fixes and paid support for businesses using the operating system, comes to an end. That’s only 337 days away at the time of writing this blog.

Here we’ll provide you with a short guide to help get you on the right path towards an efficient and secure outcome.

What’s the risk of not migrating from Windows 7?

Not migrating is of course an option, but this brings big risks and isn’t recommended. Having Microsoft supported software means Microsoft are actively developing and releasing security updates to fix bugs and vulnerabilities. This is a fundamental layer of security that is required to maintain a healthy IT network.

After January 14th 2020, Microsoft will stop monitoring Microsoft 7 for new threats and vulnerabilities and will no longer release security updates.  This effectively means that running Windows 7 after this date will almost certainly expose your network to new threats from malware and viruses. Furthermore, hackers will be incentivised to seek out and exploit networks that are still running Windows 7.

Recent high-profile examples continue to remind us of the consequences of running unpatched Microsoft Operating systems. In 2017 a worldwide cyber attack by the WannaCry virus which affected more than 200,000 devices across 150 countries, could have seen its impact significantly reduced if the affected computers had been patched with the latest security updates from Microsoft.

What are the migration options?

The good news is that Microsoft have pretty much nailed it first time with their latest OS, Windows 10. Windows 10 is the recommended migration path as this is Microsoft’s latest supported operating system and it’s still well within its initial 5-year mainstream support period.

Whilst protecting you from risk, migrating to Windows 10 can also bring efficiencies to your business with significant improvements in terms of speed, stability and user experience. To determine the most cost-effective migration path to Windows 10, you’ll need to review and assess your current Windows 7 machines.

There are two options for upgrading to Windows 10.

  1. Upgrade existing machines to Windows 10

This involves checking with your computer vendor that Windows 10 is compatible and can be installed on your existing hardware. Before considering this as an option you’ll need to determine the age of your current machines, how much life they have left in them, and whether it’s financially viable to upgrade them if their replacement date is within sight.

If a computer is well supported and maintained, we think that a 5-year lifecycle is a realistic target. This should provide you with a decent return on your investment without impacting upon productivity caused by slow and outdated hardware. 

  1. Buy new machines with Windows 10 installed

If any of your computers are coming to the end of their lifecycle, it may make more commercial sense to decommission and replace them with new computers with Windows 10 already installed, ahead of Jan 2020.

We can help review your current position, advise on the best plan of action, provide a competitive quote for new computers and help with the migration if needed. 

Call us on 01603 666141 to start a conversation today.

Proactive IT Support takes future headaches away

Having proactive IT Support for your business, means the lifecycle of hardware & software in your business is constantly being monitored and managed, meaning you don’t have to worry about coming up against these issues in the future. 

Read more about how proactive IT Support can help your business. Find out more.