Microsoft Windows 7 support will be coming to an end. Starting January 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide updates and support to Windows 7 devices. Knowing that Windows 7 support ends in about a year allows you to make informed technical decisions. For instance, if your company runs exclusively on Windows 7 PCs, now would be the time to start thinking about upgrading all devices. Chances are the PCs the business are using could be outdated and out of warranty. Furthermore, if your business, employees, or self use Microsoft products, Office 2010 will no longer be supported as well. We’ll focus this blog post on Windows 7 support and how we can help you prepare for end of life.
Why is Windows 7 support ending?
Windows 7 is like every other operating system (OS) Microsoft has built. All OS have a standard life cycle similar to previous versions. Microsoft provides monthly, sometimes bi-weekly, patches and updates to Windows 7 devices. The updates performed patch vulnerabilities found in the operating system. The patches help keep business PCs, servers, and other network devices safe from cyber attacks and security threats. Microsoft is starting to caution partners like us about informing customers about the inevitable Windows 7 support ending. Knowing the key date will help you make an informed decision about upgrading your computers and software. Businesses rely on a robust of applications to perform day-to-day tasks. You’ll now have an opportunity to start to research if your software is compatible with the latest version of Windows. Software like Quickbooks, Adobe, & Internet browsers keep up with the latest OS, but obscure applications may not.
End of life support for Windows 7 will end January 2020. We’re informing all customers a year in advance to remain proactive. Now’s the time to perform an IT audit on the current system to determine what hardware and software should be updated.
What to do before Windows 7 support ends
The deadline for Windows 7 end of life support will be here faster than two shakes of a lamb’s tail. How can you prepare yourself and remain proactive? Simple, the first step is to talk to your Managed IT Provider. The provider can help perform an audit on the existing network to determine what PCs need to be upgraded. Depending on the computer’s technical specifications—there’s a possibility the computer’s OS can be updated to Windows 10. For example, if the PC has RAM with 16GB or more, ample hard drive space (minimum 20GB), and a processor higher than 2.5GHz, chances are that the PC can be upgraded and repurposed. In contrast, if the PC is older and cannot meet Windows 10 technical specifications, the recommendation is to purchase a new PC with Windows 10. Save the budget for a new device instead of trying to Frankenstein an existing one.
In addition to performing a hardware audit, a business will need to perform a software one as well. For example, businesses use well-maintained software like Quickbooks or Microsoft Office. There’s a strong possibility these software creators have already made compatible versions for the next OS iteration and beyond. However, what about the smaller software creators? Specifically, the software creators who tailor their services to small and medium businesses. Working with smaller software development companies may be a challenge when migrating to a new system. In this example, the recommendation is to collaborate with the software developers and determine the optimal path to upgrade. Work exclusively with the company to migrate data without any loss.
Time to prepare for Windows 7 end of life support
We’ve let you know why Windows 7 support is ending and what you need to perform before the deadline arrives. Although we’ve provided helpful tips, let’s discuss preparation techniques for your business. For starters, the technical audit performed will help determine what, if any, new equipment is required for the business. If the business were to purchase new equipment, we’d recommend purchasing the most recent software. Purchasing updated software keeps you ahead in terms of patches and updates. The most recent software will maintain a steady stream of updates for a few years. In contrast, having outdated software can cause future headaches without proper updates from the developer. As we’ve discussed in the past—outdated software can leave your systems vulnerable to potential malicious attacks.
Are you partnered with a Managed IT Service provider? Now may be the time to be if you are not. Working exclusively with a managed IT service provider can alleviate all of the technical tasks that most businesses don’t have time for. A provider will partner with a business to determine the next steps. Saving time and money is what a managed service IT provider can assist with.