What You Should Do When Windows 7 Ends

Zack ConoverCloud Services, Network Security

In the technology industry, the term “End of Life” refers to the ceasing of support for a software and/or hardware product. This means no more security updates or customer service. The development of that product will cease to patch the system or fix the bugs. You can still run the software or hardware, but at a high risk.


What Happens After Windows 7 End Of Life

It can be complicated when the end of life comes for such a widely used piece of software. Let’s take a look back to what happened when Windows XP’s end of life came in 2014. Over 40% of the world’s one billion computers were impacted, but many businesses were slow to migrate over to a secure operating system. It is now 2018 and 7% of computers worldwide are still using an outdated operating system.

Businesses on a mass scale are slow to upgrade and adapt. This is partly due to the surprise expense of upgrading dozens of workstations at once with no strategy or plan in place—not to mention the large amount of time-consuming work it takes to upgrade and update all of those workstations.

Small to mid-sized businesses feel this impact the most. Oftentimes, legacy systems rely on an older operating system. Old hardware and equipment may not be able to handle the system requirements necessary for an upgrade. A new system also requires proper employee training. Each of these reasons can become a large burden on company resources for small to mid-sized businesses.


The Life Cycle Of Windows Operating Systems

Recently, Microsoft announced the end of life for the Windows 7 operating system. That end of life date is January 14, 2020.

Windows 7 is used by over 70% of businesses globally, but how do these companies plan to handle the end of life? Careful planning and examination of your business’s IT infrastructure are necessary to identify what needs to be upgraded. This will help create an easier transition. Early planning can also free up needed space in terms of budgeting.


Will My Computer Still Work When Windows 7 Ends?

When Microsoft announced the end of life for Windows XP, many had concerns. For most users, the main concern was “Will my computer still work?” The short answer to this question is yes, but at your own risk. The same goes for the Windows 7 end of life date. Your computer will still work, but it will be completely vulnerable to cyber attacks and bugs after January 14, 2020.

It is strongly suggested to begin planning for this transition to Windows 10 now rather than a month before the 2020 deadline. The earlier you start planning, the more time you have to address unexpected issues during the migration (while Windows 7 is still supported).

How Do I Prepare For Windows 7 End Of Life?

Upgrading operating systems takes time depending on how many workstations your business has. Each machine needs to be assessed to determine if an operating system is secure or at risk. The following will help prepare you for a successful migration to a new, secured operating system:

  • Determine which machines (computers) need to be upgraded or replaced (sometimes it is cheaper to replace than upgrade)
  • Consider replacing outdated systems that aren’t compatible with Windows 10 with more secure technology
  • Create a strategy with a timeline and budget for those upgrades or replacements
  • Add needed security controls for machines that have to run Windows 7 (assuming they can’t be upgraded or replaced)
  • Be sure to properly train your employees on the new operating system

If your business is still using Windows 7, it would be smart to plan early for its end of life in January 2020. TechKnowledgey can help you create a strategy and schedule for the migration process. We help privately held businesses execute a variety of IT solutions to keep pace with today’s technology demands. Call or chat with us to get started.