In the tech industry, “end of life” refers to a calendar date when the developers will no longer provide customer support or security updates for a hardware or software product. If there are still bugs or flaws in the item when it reaches that particular day, the developers will not fix them anymore. You may still use the hardware or software, but at a great risk to your network and other devices.
End of support for business systems
A product’s end of life can be a major hurdle for enterprises and IT support to overcome. When Microsoft stopped supporting the Windows XP family of operating systems in 2014, many devices across the globe were affected. An estimated 7% of overall desktop computers sold still had Windows XP installed despite it being already obsolete.
Most organizations, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), are slow to adapt because of the time and expenses needed to upgrade and update their equipment. So they end up working with legacy applications or systems that depend on older operating systems, and such outdated equipment most likely cannot handle the requirements necessary for upgrades.
Training the workforce to utilize new systems will also take time and money, adding more burden to company resources.
Windows 7 is next in line
Microsoft announced that Windows 7 would no longer be supported after January 14, 2020. Many businesses may be unprepared to make the jump to Windows 10 since most of their computers are still running Windows 7, but you and a reputable managed IT services provider can make plans for a smooth system migration. The sooner your company starts this transition, the better you can budget your finances.
Is it still okay to use Windows 7 now?
During the Windows XP end of life announcement, most users were concerned about not being able to use their devices after the said date. Microsoft assured their customers that their computers would still function, so the same response would apply to machines that still have Windows 7 installed. Just like the previous announcement though, computers with outdated software will be vulnerable to bugs and exploits.
Changes to the Windows Product Life Cycle
Every product developed by Microsoft has a life cycle, which starts with their release date and ends with their end of support. Depending on the product, these life cycles can last between five and 10 years with two service periods: mainstream support and extended support.
Mainstream support for a Microsoft product usually covers the first few years, including new features and security patches. Once this support period reaches its deadline, extended support kicks in. Customers are informed that developers are only releasing security updates and are not actively working on the product anymore. Once extended support is over, the product reaches its end of life.
Is your company ready to update?
If your enterprise is still running Windows 7, be ready for its end of support date. Have the experts at Complete Technology manage your devices and network for you. We utilize powerful tools and applications to keep businesses in Kansas City operational and efficient. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll give you a free consultation.