What Does Windows End of Life Mean to My Business?

What Does Windows End of Life Mean to My Business?
You’ve all heard the panic. Windows is cutting off support for its widely popular version 7 software. January 14, 2020 will officially mark Windows 7 End of Life. Many companies have used Windows 7 since it launched in 2009 and are still actively using it today. So, what’s the big deal? Can’t you stick with Windows 7 or will your computer self-destruct?

Vulnerable to Cyber Threats

The good news is that your computers will still work fine after the End of Life (EOL) date. But just because your computer will run doesn’t mean it’s wise to operate unsupported software. The largest concern for Windows 7 users is security. Since updates and support will stop, your computer will be vulnerable to cyber threats. In fact, this is a bit of a hacker’s dream. They are standing by, knowing people will neglect to update their operating system.

Migrate Before EOL

Windows 7 is actually already in its ‘extended support’ phase and has been since 2015! Microsoft ended their mainstream support including new features and warranty claims. Yet, in this transition, Windows has kept virus patches and security bug fixes up to date. With End of Life, any patches and bug fixes go away. IT Security experts strongly suggest migrating your operating system to a current version before the Windows 7 EOL date. There still is the option to pay for Windows 7 extended support on computers. The costs are more expensive, when you add it up, and do not compare to the cost of migrating.

Best Options

What is the best option to choose from when it comes to Windows 7 EOL? Though Windows 8 is a newer version, it’ll only be a matter of time before you need to migrate all over again. If you are worried about cost efficiency, you could try a free operating system like Linux. It will take some research to find the best Linux platform that’s right for you, but it may be worth it if you’re someone who likes to tinker. Then, of course, you could swap to a Mac altogether. Keep in mind that Apple’s products are more expensive. Also, that you may need to re-purchase certain business applications compatible with Mac. The best option is to transition to Windows 10. This is the most adopted new version of Windows and will not be EOL for a while.

Be Proactive

It’s important to begin working with your IT Company on this migration as soon as possible. They’ll take a look at the current computers and determine how many are using Windows 7. Then they will ensure your hardware isn’t out of date. Older PCs might not be able to handle a new operating system. This could make a migration take longer, be more difficult, and costlier if you use older hardware. Your IT company should provide you a recommended path for an upgrade with a clear budget and timeline.
Overall, take the time to plan your transition, so it is seamless. Talk to us if you need help or would like to explore some options. Most importantly, get moving now as Windows 7 EOL will be here in no time!
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