Understanding Windows End of Life Implications for Your Business
As the January 14, 2020, End of Life (EOL) date for Windows 7 approaches, businesses must be aware of the implications and take the necessary actions to ensure a smooth transition. After this date, support will stop for Windows 7, a widely used operating system that debuted in 2009. While your computers will continue to function, it is crucial to consider the security risks associated with running outdated software without updates or support.
The primary concern for Windows 7 users post-EOL is security. In the absence of updates and support, the devices running this operating system become highly susceptible to cyber threats. Hackers often target systems with outdated software, making it imperative for businesses to take appropriate measures to protect their data and infrastructure.
Notably, Windows 7 has already been in its ‘extended support’ phase since 2015, during which Microsoft ceased to offer new features and warranty claims. However, security patches and bug fixes have been maintained. With the End of Life, this support will cease, leaving devices vulnerable. Experts in IT and security strongly recommend migrating to a current operating system before the Windows EOL date. While theoretically, you could pay for extended support, the costs will accumulate rapidly, making migration a more cost-effective and secure option.
Several options are available for businesses facing Windows 7 EOL. Upgrading to Windows 8 is discouraged due to its limited lifecycle. Windows 10 is the recommended choice for a modern and supported operating system. For cost efficiency, some businesses may consider free operating systems like Linux, though proper research is essential to identify the most suitable Linux platform. Additionally, transitioning to Apple’s Mac devices is an option, but it involves considering higher costs and potential application repurchases.
Starting the migration process promptly is crucial, and collaboration with your IT Company is recommended. They will assess your devices, determine the number of systems using Windows 7, and ensure hardware compatibility. Migrating some computers may require hardware upgrades, lengthening the process and incurring additional costs. Your IT company will provide a recommended upgrade path, complete with a clear budget and timeline for completion.
Planning your transition is vital to avoid security risks and ensure a smooth migration. Seek professional assistance if needed, and take prompt action to safeguard your business before the EOL arrives. Act now to minimize potential disruptions and maintain a secure and up-to-date IT infrastructure.