More organizations across the globe are switching to Windows 10, but there are those — including some small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — that are still using Windows 7. In fact, 40.1% of the world’s computers are still running Windows 7, which turns 10 in July 2019.
However, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 soon, so if your company is still using it, you might want to consider upgrading your OS to prevent issues in the future. To plan your upgrade to Windows 10, here’s what you need to know about Windows 7’s end of support.
When is the end of support date?
Most tech products come with a fixed support life cycle that indicates when it's time to get an upgrade. Windows 7’s mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015, after which developers stopped releasing service packs or feature updates for it.
On the other hand, Windows 7’s extended support period will last until January 14, 2020. During this period, the developers will continue releasing security patches and fixes for zero-day exploits, but volume licensing customers can pay Microsoft to further extend that support period to January 2023 if they need to use Windows 7 exclusively.
Bear in mind that if you continue using Windows 7 after its support life cycle ends, your computers will be more prone to hackers and malware. In 2017, Microsoft had to release some security patches for Windows XP — retired in 2014 — to address the risks caused by the WannaCry ransomware, which affected numerous hospitals, enterprises, and schools that were still using the obsolete operating system.
Given all this information, you’re probably asking…
Should I replace my Windows 7 computers?
The latest version of Windows, Windows 10, runs on hundreds of millions of devices. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any problems upgrading from Windows 7, but it might be more cost-effective to purchase new hardware in the long run. That’s because the machines that were preloaded with Windows 7 a few years ago may be nearing the end of their life cycles.
If you decide to upgrade the OS of these devices, you might end up replacing the hardware after a year or two. And should you buy some new computers now, they will come with the latest operating system, and you'll have the option to purchase one license.
Whatever you choose to do, have a trustworthy managed services provider (MSP) like Complete Technology assist you with formulating a replacement or upgrade strategy for your office equipment.
What if my company uses an application that is only compatible with Windows 7?
Upgrading every computer in your workplace will eventually lead to some setbacks, particularly if your business heavily depends on software that is not compatible with the latest operating systems. The same applies to older hardware such as printers, which might not work well with newer operating systems.
Making sure that all your devices work well with one another is vital in upgrading any piece of technology. Look for an updated version of your most critical applications and ensure they're compatible with that brand new operating system you'll be using.
Another option is to have your MSP transfer your legacy programs into a virtualized computing environment. This should overcome most, if not all, compatibility issues you may normally encounter with a standard installation.
The specialists at Complete Technology will provide solutions for cloud and hosted resources for your SMB. Our company redefines IT services for customers in Kansas City by allowing them to focus on their business, not IT distractions. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation.
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