It’s quite hard to believe that Windows 7 is now 10 years old – it seems like only yesterday that I installed it.
Unfortunately, time is running out – it’s crunch time.
Windows 7 goes ‘end of support’ in January 2020. Windows 7 is in extended support now. This means no new features have been added to the operating system since January 2015 when mainstream support ended.
What does this mean for you, the business owner whose Windows 7 computers are working absolutely fine?
There are two big issues with the end of life of operating systems:
No further patches from Microsoft
This is the big one. Come end of life, Microsoft will stop releasing patches for the operating system. This means when an issue is found, which primarily will be security related, Microsoft will not release a patch. This will make your computer potentially vulnerable to this new threat.
These issues plagued Windows XP once it entered the end of life phase. Malware and ransomware created havoc on the operating system, which got so bad in 2017, Microsoft released a patch to help stop the Wannacry virus which was spreading around the globe like wildfire.
Your applications will no longer be updated
Slowly, applications will slowly drop support for Windows 7. You can expect your accounting software; CRM and most internet browsers updates will not be able to be installed on the operating system. This could potentially leave you in a situation where you are not compliant in your business.
So what are your options?
Upgrade your operating system? This is generally not a good option. If you are using Windows 7, you most likely have computers which are a number of years old. These computers will likely barely meet the minimum requirements of the latest operating system, Window 10. If you decide to upgrade your computers, you may find the performance to be frustratingly slow.
Buy new computers? If you have a technology roadmap in place, your organisation will already be replacing computers every 3-5 years. As part of this, Windows 10 should have been introduced to roadmap a year or two ago. If not, there’s nothing like the present.
A replacement or upgrade strategy needs to be in place to ensure computer and software compatibility.
Do nothing? I expect most businesses will update their operating systems, but if you decide to do nothing, then the best I could advise is to ensure your security protection is up-to-date.
We don’t want another Windows XP scenario, where it took years for Windows XP to disappear. This caused many of the malware/security outbreaks over the years. Because these operating systems were not supported, malicious groups were able to create viruses and malware to take advantage – you don’t want to become one of the statistics.
If you want to discuss your options, please get in touch. Especially if you have specific needs like manufacturing or HIPPA based compliance. We are specialists in this area.