Windows 7 End of Life is fast approaching
Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows 7, starting early 2020. This will mean there will be no more security updates, leaving your Windows 7 devices vulnerable to threats.
Windows 7 was released in July 2009 so it’s nearly 10 years old. It’s fair to say it was one of Microsoft’s best operating systems which is why so many businesses are still using it today.
We thought it would be a good to share some information for business & home users who are still using Windows 7.
Let’s start by covering a few key questions that we are often asked by our clients.
What does Windows 7 “End Of Life” mean?
The term “End of Life”, which you may have heard a lot recently, is a date where an application or piece of software is no longer supported by the company that produced it. Windows 7’s End of Life is fast approaching and this means the will be no more security updates or support from Microsoft.
When is Windows 7 End of Life?
Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 on 14th January 2020
Will Windows 7 still work after this date?
Yes it will, but that doesn’t mean you should continue using it. A PC or Laptop running Windows 7 after the End of Life date would be vulnerable to malware, viruses and ransomware because it won’t be receiving security patches. It’s not recommended by Microsoft or thecitysecret to run Windows 7 for either business or personal use after this date.
Is this for home or business users?
This effects all users running any version of Windows 7, whether Home or Business.
Next steps – what should I do?
Firstly don’t panic! There’s plenty of time to upgrade your Windows 7 devices. However, it’s really important businesses understand they should be putting a plan in place to upgrade to Windows 7 before the End of Life date. This is to ensure your devices and all of your data is protected. When an operating system reaches its end of life hackers try to find bugs and ways in to the older systems. They know any flaws and back doors into the operating system won’t be fixed with patch updates, leaving your devices and data vulnerable.
Now you understand you need to be upgrading Windows 7, you might be wondering what operating system should we upgrade to? Well there’s plenty of choice on the market including some free options. Here’s a very brief overview on some of potential options out there for businesses.
If your currently running Windows 7 the obvious choice would be Windows 10. Why’s it the obvious choice I hear you ask, firstly you can do a simple upgrade from Windows 7 keeping your files & programs. Secondly there’s also less of a learning curve, compared to if you switch to an operating system that you and your employees are not familiar with.
There’s a whole range of features, shortcuts and apps which make Windows 10 great for business. Microsoft are also regularly updating it with not only security patches but new features to improve productivity. Find out more about the benefits of Windows in our other article here. The biggest downside we can see for Windows 10 would be the initial cost.
Linux is a completely free open source operating system that receives regular security updates so this is a great option for those businesses on a budget. Not only is it free, there’s a range of Linux distributions to choose from which helps you get the Operating System with features to suit your business.
More and more businesses are moving to Linux due to the cost savings. There are a few limitations with Linux that might put some users off, things like Microsoft & Financial Applications will not run on Linux. This been said if your business is using cloud products like Office 365, G Suite, Xero then Linux might be the correct solution for you..
Apple macOS is another great alternative to Windows, especially for any designers and creative professionals. It was built for artists with many builtin creative tools. Although the initial upfront cost for this could be high as you need an Apple device to run macOS.
Generally the macOS is low maintenance and also the number of threats a macOS can get is significantly lower. This isn’t because they are more secure than Windows this is largely down to Apple have less than 10% of market share, which results in less malware attacks.
The other factor to consider with macOS is the initial up front cost. With Apple as the only manufacturer of macOS hardware you are limited to the price they set and can’t really shop around. With Windows you could go to Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc for the best deal.
We often don’t like change but when it comes to security of your devices and company data it simply has to be done. Whilst it might seem like a bit of hassle and expense that wasn’t planned for, you will find in the long term moving to more advanced and secure operating system will benefit your business and employees. Windows 7 was a great operating system but Windows 10, Linux & macOS have new features that can help your business.
Follow us on social media for further tech articles as soon as we release them. If you would like further information on preparing for Windows 7 end of life or transitioning onto another Operating System like Windows 10, get in touch today.