Microsoft will terminate support for Windows 7 on 14th January 2020.
Windows 7 is currently in a phase Microsoft describes as "extended support" but by 14th January 2020 all support ends and no further security updates will be issued.
In the absence of clarity only confusion prevails and so we at PFH have implemented a pro-active strategy of engaging with our customer base to ensure their migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10 happens without any disruption to their IT continuity.
In this blog we want to provide answers to the most popular questions we get asked by our customers and offer some useful information regarding what it means when Microsoft end support for one of their operating systems.
What does “End of Extended Support” mean?
As we have alluded to in previous blogs, end of extended support does not mean that Windows 7 will stop working, but critically, end of support does mean that Microsoft will stop developing the product and there will be no further security updates.
How many people are still using Windows 7?
As of December 2018, Windows 7’s user share was still 42.8% of all Windows PC, with Windows 10 accounting for 45.5%. December ’18 figures was the first month since its release three years ago that more computers were running on Windows 10 than its predecessor, Windows 7.
When should a business start the upgrade process?
Now is the time to consider the cost of upgrading or replacing any device running Windows 7.
Due to the early end of life date in 2020, any upgrades or replacements should be in place for several months before the January 14 end of life date.
Why does it take some businesses so long to adapt to end of life announcements?
Many reasons, all of which will be familiar to any business owner:
- Cost and the time-consuming work required to update and upgrade computers, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.
- The use of important legacy software that relies on an outdated operating system.
- Older equipment that may not respond well to the system requirements necessary for an upgrade to a new operating system.
- The time and expense required to training employees to use new systems.
How easy is it to upgrade to Windows 10?
This depends on the age of the device. With minimum specifications needed to run a Windows 10 Operating System, there is some speculation that as Windows 10 evolves the existing specs may no longer be sufficient.
We recommend that devices are replaced every 4 years; with the cost of the upgraded Windows 10 license and professional services associated with the upgrade process, this might be the best time to perform a refresh of older machines.
Having employees upgrade to newer, faster PC’s will also improve productivity and overall job satisfaction.
What will happen if businesses don’t upgrade their systems?
When Microsoft ended support for its popular Windows XP operating system in 2014, it affected 40% of the world’s estimated one billion computers. But change arrived slowly, even with a long rollout and multiple security announcements.
Five years later, around 5% of the world’s computers still use Windows XP, even though several ransomware attacks (most notably WannaCry) have targeted legacy systems still running XP. As hackers realize how many potential cybercrime victims are still running Windows 7 beyond January 14, 2020, they’re sure to turn their attention in that direction.
Although businesses will still be able to use Windows 7 after the end date, the lack of support and end of security options suggests it's not a good idea to continue with the OS.
If you are concerned about Windows 7 end of life, then why not reach out to one of our Microsoft experts? Request a Consultation here.