What Does Windows 7 End of Life Mean For Your Business?

Windows 7 End of Life

Nothing lasts forever. Whether it’s your current smartphone or the current user interface on your email client, nothing stays the same in technology.

Updates are issued. Hardware gets replaced. The world keeps turning.

But, the next major change you have to be aware of is Windows 7 End-of-Life – are you ready?

What Happens At Windows 7 End Of Life?

All support for Windows 7 will end on January 14, 2020 (yes, you can pay extremely large sums of Money to Microsoft to get support, but that is not likely). What this really means is no more bug fixes or security updates. And over time, the usability of Windows 7 will degrade. There will be a loss of usability and increased risk due to unpatched vulnerabilities.

No support means no updates, and no updates means no critical patches or fixes to protect you against cyber threats looking to exploit gaps in your security. There is no substitute for these patches. Without them, you have no choice but to upgrade to a newer supported OS.

What Will Happen If You Keep Using Windows 7 After End-of-Life?

Without security updates and bug patches, you open yourself up to a number of risks:

  • Malware infections because it will not be updated to protect against them
  • Out of date applications including anti-virus
  • 3rd parties may not extend coverage/support to you because you are on an unsupported version of Windows. Insurance and banking organizations come to mind
  • The potential of Exposure of private data increases exponentially over time

It’s important to note that End Of Life doesn’t just involve Microsoft. All other products that interact with Windows 7 will also stop providing support for it. Over time computer/peripheral manufacturers will no longer support Windows 7, meaning devices like printers, desktop/laptop companion products, and much more won’t be guaranteed to work as they should. Most importantly, security applications and third-party tools/browsers won’t support Windows 7. So, as you browse the Web and check your email, you could be exposed to cyber threats that are being created for this exact situation.

What Can You Do Now To Prepare Your Business?

The simplest course of action is to start planning your move to Windows 10, the newer operating system offered by Microsoft. In addition to protecting you from an unsupported operating system, upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 will offer a number of benefits:

  • Your hardware will run more efficiently and responsively.
  • Windows 10 will make better use of the available resources (such as hard drive storage space).
  • Your computer security will be more robust, up to date, and reliable.
  • Ask for Help from a trusted IT business partner

How Should You Plan Your Migration To Windows 10?

To make sure your hardware is ready for the next software environment, you should perform a series of inventories:

Storage

You will need more storage space if your hard drive is 32 GB or less. You can try removing applications you no longer need to free up space. You can also try using Disk Cleanup to free up more space. Microsoft might ask you to attach an external drive to free up space for the upgrade. If you do this, be sure to keep it in a safe place in case you need it when using recovery options down the road.

Software Inventory

Go through your start menu, programs folder and any other locations on your PC and make a note of all the applications and utilities you have.

Categorize them into 3 groups:

  1.  Required
  2. Optional
  3. Unwanted

Check your required software versions against the most current versions from the vendor to determine if you need to upgrade them. If so, make a note of the cost to do this.

Software Wishlist

Decide what you need, how soon, and do a similar upgrade and cost determination. NOTE: Unless you have the original software and licence to complete the install it is usually better to replace software vs. the hassle of installing it and then performing a series of upgrades.

Hardware Requirements

Make sure your current hardware is compatible with the most current Windows Operating System (Windows 10). This means checking:

  • The space on your solid-state drive or hard drive.
  • The RAM or memory requirements.
  • The CPU or Processor.

If they don’t meet the requirements, it may be best to purchase a new machine with Windows 10 installed. Then you can reinstall any current applications that you require.

Does Your Business Need New Computers?

If your computer is three or more years old, and running Windows 7, in most cases it makes sense to get a new one.

For most Windows 7 users, moving to a new device with a Windows 10 operating system is the best path forward. Today’s PCs are faster, lighter in weight, more powerful, have better energy efficiencies, and provide increased security.

The average price is considerably less than that of the average PC was eight years ago. This Guide from Microsoft can help you choose a new PC in just a few easy steps.

Still Unsure About Upgrading To Windows 10?

Every Windows operating system has a lifecycle. It’s important that you stay up to date about essential End-of-Life dates.

This will help you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software or hardware. Furthermore, your IT company can also help you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make changes to your other software or hardware.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

11 Ways You Can Benefit From Assisted IT Services

Managed IT Helps Your Bottom Line: 6 Ways How

5 Ways Managed IT Services Is the Right Choice for Your Business

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