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How Does Windows 7 End of Life Impact My Business?

 

Microsoft ended its support for their extremely popular, Windows 7 software on January 14, 2020. Since 2009, when Windows 7 launched, millions of people (and companies) have used it. Some are still using it today, even though Windows is no longer supporting it.

So, what’s the big deal? Can you keep using Windows 7 or will your computer self-destruct if you do?

Well, there’s some good news and bad news. Luckily, your computer will continue to operate just fine. But just because your computer still works doesn’t mean it’s smart to keep running it with out of date software.

The biggest potential issue for Windows 7 users is security. Windows 7 end of life means that updates and support will no longer be available. This puts your computer at high risk for cyber threats. In fact, this is a bit of a hacker’s dream. Cyber criminals are at the ready because they know there are some that will neglect to update.

Microsoft put Windows 7 in an ‘extended support’ mode way back in 2015! They recently stopped full support – including new features and warranty claims. Yet, since then, Windows has kept virus patches and security bug fixes current. With the official end of life earlier this year, even that has halted.

If you are one of the companies hanging onto Windows 7, IT and security experts highly recommend migrating your operating system to something current as soon as possible. One option certainly is to purchase Windows 7 extended support on each individual device, but the final price tag will be larger than simply migrating to a new OS. Plus, security and bug fixes will also be bill per device and are sure to be more expensive.

Currently, there are a few options to choose from. Windows 8 is certainly the most affordable option and a newer version. But it’s only a matter of time before you need to update your OS again.

You could transition to Windows 10, which is the most highly recommended solution. If you are worried about bottom line, you could try a free operating system like Linux. It will take some research to find the specific Linux platform that’s best for you, but it may be worth it if you’re someone who has the time to tinker.

The other options is to swap to a Mac.  But, remember that Apple’s products are high ticket items and you may need to re-purchase certain business applications specifically for Mac.

It’s important to begin working with your IT Managed Services Provider on whatever migration you choose. And soon rather than later. They’ll take a look at the devices you are using, determine how many are utilizing Windows 7, and ensure your hardware isn’t out of date.

Not all computers will be able to handle a new operating system, which could make a migration take much longer, more difficult, and costlier as you upgrade hardware. Your Managed Services partner will provide a recommended path for an upgrade with a clear budget and timeline for completion.

Overall, take some time to plan your transition. Talk to us if you need additional help or options. Most of all though, get moving. When it comes to the security of your business, time is of the essence.

Need help determining your best course of action?  Call us at 321-275-5580 or send us a message here.