Windows 7, the desktop operating system made by Microsoft, has been one of the most popular, widely used operating systems to this date. It was released back in October 2009 and since then has seen many years of reliable service.
Microsoft’s support lifecycle has come to a point where it no longer makes sense to continue to invest and support this aging operating system, as Windows 10 has taken over in reliability, features, and security
What does it mean for me?
After January 14, 2020, if your computer runs Windows 7 it will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft. This has a big impact, as any future bugs or security issues discovered would be left unsolved. For any business running Windows 7 computers, this will decrease overall security, a problem that should be taken seriously.
How do I know how many computers are affected?
The first step should be to speak to your IT department or consultant, who should keep an active inventory of all your company’s assets and devices. They should be able to tell you quickly how many Windows 7 computers are active. While you are at it, check to ensure no Windows XP computers are still in use as end-of-life support for Windows XP has been gone since April 2014.
Can we just upgrade our computers to Windows 10?
Before buying licensing from Microsoft and doing upgrades, a deeper look at the age and health of the computer should be done. Software and hardware must run smoothly together, or users will experience difficulties. If you have a 6-year-old computer that runs Windows 7, it may not be a great fit for Windows 10.
If you have specialized, custom, or propriety software or applications that your company uses, it may not run on Windows 10 and that should be reviewed carefully with the software vendor.
What if I do nothing?
You can continue to use Windows 7, but after support has ended your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Windows will continue to start and run, but you will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft.
SNS Technologists can help review your environment and provide budgeting/costing for how to plan and transition strategically for January 2020.
Client Case Studies
Client Success: Reliance on Windows 7
A current client of SNS Technologists has half of their team using Windows 7 and the other half using Windows 10. The rolling out of Windows 10 was halted due to a legacy application within Microsoft 7 that the call center uses to do their job. This application, however, is being replaced in January 2019. After the introduction of this new missing software, the entire team will be able to move to Windows 10 long before the January 2020 cut-off.
Client Failure: Application Developer out of the Picture
A current client of SNS Technologists is using a custom-developed application that they need every day for their business to function. The application developer has since left — a familiar story in the case of proprietary software — and no longer supports the product. The application was developed to work in sync with Windows 7. The team at SNS was able to get in and learn about the application to understand the issues that could arise when transitioning their team away from Windows 7.
During the last year, we have worked with the client to deploy new computers with both the proprietary application and Windows 10, and the two are simply incompatible. The application fails to run or runs very poorly and is unstable, which would lead to major technological and operational issues for the company down the road. The company is not able to function and as the cut-off for security updates draws nearer, does not want to invest time or money into replacing this aging application.
Herein lies the problem; IT consultants can warn clients of technological and security risks, but if they do not act on it they are leaving their entire company’s operations vulnerable to attack, as well as the potential for dissolution of their team’s communication and production.
Our best advice? Ensure your business is nimble enough to achieve resiliency in the ever-evolving tech landscape of today.
Our team would be happy to help you seamlessly navigate the switch from Windows 7, or audit your current hardware and software to mitigate any future issues. Get in touch today.