It’s the end of an era. January 14th, 2020 marks the moment at which Microsoft’s support for Windows 7 will come to a close as Microsoft 7 reaches its End of Life Date. Pledging ten years of product support when the popular operating system was released in October of 2009, Microsoft has fulfilled its commitment and will cease to provide patches, fixes, or technical support to Microsoft 7 users from that date forward. It’s true, businesses who refuse to update their systems will be able to pay a fee for additional support if they choose to stick with Windows 7 but beware – risks lie ahead.
What It Means
When products are in a supported state, they enjoy the benefits of essential security updates and patches to keep hackers at bay and make sure the product functions smoothly. In short, the developer (Microsoft) takes the time to make sure the product is keeping up with the times. But when this period ends, that product becomes increasingly vulnerable to bugs, glitches, and emerging cybersecurity threats leaving users with a product that grows more obsolete and unreliable by the day.
What to Do Next
Microsoft strongly recommends upgrading to Microsoft 10. If you’re a current Microsoft 7 user, this move does have some obvious benefits. Firstly, because both operating systems are developed by Microsoft, the migration process is streamlined and straightforward, and in most cases, your files can stay right on your PC as they are. Also, you and your staff won’t have to learn a new operating system as the function and feel will be very similar. If you wish to do so, purchase a Windows 10 update, download the installation file and run it.
If you wish to look elsewhere, you can compare and choose from Google Chromebook, Mac products, or a Linux operating system, but be sure that you are making a move to a system that will be supported for many years to come.
One Thing to Watch Out For
One final consideration before you make the move to upgrade is to double-check that the current applications you are using are supported and will work once you move to Windows 10. If you’ve been delaying making an upgrade with your operating system, you may also have some older applications in daily use that require replacement as well. If you rely on any of these too heavily and fail to make sure that it will be supported once you make the switch, you could be in store for a nasty surprise that damages productivity. Before upgrading systems company-wide, check in with your IT team and test your current applications on Windows 10 to make sure you’re in the clear.
Staying up to date and making sure you are adequately supported is a full-time job. Just recently, Microsoft also started up a campaign to inform Microsoft Office 2010 users that the end of free support is only a year away. If you need help managing IT tasks like these, consider utilizing a dedicated MSP like Net Works. Our in-house IT professionals can assist with staying up-to-date on security risks, important updates, and tech trends so you can focus on your business instead of worrying about what Microsoft is up to.