All good things must eventually come to an end and operating systems are no different. Once they reach the end of their lifespan, outdated operating systems will continue to work but will no longer be officially supported. When an operating system reaches the end of its life, that means that Microsoft will no longer provide technical assistance or release new security updates for the operating system.
Microsoft’s operating systems are usually supported for around 10 years and with Windows 7 having celebrated its 10th birthday in July of this year, Microsoft is now preparing to wind down support for the OS officially. If your business is still using Windows 7, it is important to understand what the implications of its end of life are and what you need to do as a business to ensure that you don’t suffer as a result.
When Does Support for Windows 7 End?
Windows 7’s end of life will begin midway through January 2020, January 14th to be exact. Until we reach this date, the operating system will be in what Microsoft calls ‘extended support’. At a certain point, it no longer makes sense to continue to pour the necessary resources into an operating system to keep it properly maintained. As well as the financial and resource cost, it also requires an ongoing time investment to maintain an OS, time that can be better spent maintaining the newer iterations of the OS.
Microsoft has already ended the main phase of Windows 7, which officially drew to a close on January 13th, 2015. Since this date, no new features have been added, nor has Microsoft been accepting warranty claims. But until now, Windows 7 has continued to receive updates and support.
What Happens Next?
Starting January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will no longer be releasing any new security updates or patches for its OS. Should you run into any issues after this date, you will likely find that Microsoft is unable or unwilling to provide you with technical support. The operating system will continue to work after this date, but it is safer for businesses to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, one that is being actively supported.
Businesses need to consider the fact that no new patches or updates mean that using an outdated operating system can represent a serious security vulnerability. If any exploits for Windows 7 are discovered after it reaches its end of life, these won’t be patched or fixed. That means that once those exploits are in the wild, every system still running the old OS will now be at risk of being attacked.
If lots of businesses keep using Windows 7 beyond its end of life then it will present a tempting target for attackers. Just because you can continue to use Windows 7, that doesn’t mean that you should. It definitely isn’t a risk that any business should be taking without a very good reason.
Why You Should Upgrade
Upgrading your operating system to the latest version of Windows – Windows 10 – will offer a number of benefits. First and foremost, you will be able to take advantage of regular security updates to ensure that your business remains secure from outside attacks. You will also find the upgrade simple to do because you are moving from one version of Windows to another version of Windows.
Upgrading to the latest version of Windows will keep you protected from cyber-attacks while also ensuring that your systems are ready and able to handle all the latest software. Once Microsoft announces the end of life for an operating system, this is usually the signal for developers to wind down their projects and instead focus on ensuring they are compatible with the new version of Windows.
Contact us today to discuss your IT systems and how we can help your business to upgrade so that all your machines are running the latest version of Windows. All it takes is one system within your business to be using an outdated operating system that lacks the latest security updates and your entire network can become compromised. Texaport can take all the stress and difficulty out of updating your operating system and make the whole process as slow as possible.
In just a few months, Windows 7 will no longer be officially supported by Microsoft. From this date forward, any device using Windows 7 should be considered vulnerable. Researchers will continue to poke and prod and discover new security vulnerabilities. These will be disclosed to the community as normal, but with the knowledge that Microsoft is going to do nothing to address them.
Don’t put your business systems are risk needlessly, upgrade to the latest version of Windows as soon as you can and you will be able to continue to enjoy official support and regular security updates from Microsoft, as well as the ability to run the latest software and hardware.