Windows 7 has been one of the most successful operating systems developed by Microsoft. Its resilience has been boosted by many conspiracies and controversies surrounding Windows 8. In fact, millions of organizations skipped the Windows 8 upgrade and stuck with Window 7. Many businesses are still not convinced that Windows 10 is any better than Windows 8. Even though there are numerous valid reasons to stay with Windows 7, it’s time to start preparing for the inevitable upgrade.
January 2020 will be the end of the road for Windows 7. This means that Microsoft will put an end to Windows 7 security updates, bug fixes, and all support, thereby implementing its end of life. Until then, you can enjoy the operating system’s extended support as Microsoft works on phasing it out. As of now, the manufacturer is still offering paid support for the operating system but has terminated all the complimentary updates that come with the product license.
Like many Microsoft products, Windows 7 came with a predetermined support timeline. It’s good to know a product’s support lifecycle so that you know when to upgrade. The conventional mainstream support for Microsoft’s operating system stopped developing Windows 7 updates on January 13, 2015. This means that Microsoft no longer provides bug fixes and security updates for the operating system.
With that in mind, the company will still provide some security patches through the extended support phase. This extended support period will run until January 14, 2020. After this date, there will be no more security fixes and updates thereby marking the official Windows 7 End of Life.
However, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from using Windows 7 even after its End of Life. But you should know that using an outdated operating system makes your computer vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
For instance, many organizations that stayed with Windows XP long after the expiry of its lifecycle suffered serious cyber attacks from infamous hackers like the WannaCry ransomware. There’s a good chance that attackers are already working on how they can exploit the vulnerabilities that will be created when Microsoft ends their extended support period for Windows 7.
Microsoft has a policy stipulating how the life of a product starts and how it ends. Normally, the life of a Microsoft product begins when it is released into the market and ends when the company stops providing support. This is how Microsoft OS lifecycles start and end.
More importantly, Microsoft needs to sell its latest operating systems, which are Windows 8 and Windows 10. To do that effectively, they must preside over the death of the older operating systems. The tech giant has already started blocking updates through some machines so it may be necessary to start preparing now for the eventuality that you may not be able to get any new updates.
Imagine using a product that a company doesn’t want to take responsibility for anymore. You’ll be using the product at your own risk. This means that Microsoft will not take responsibility for loss of data due to security breaches on Windows 7.
New Malware is developed daily so it’s important to understand that anyone continuing to use Windows 7 could be more vulnerable. Without regular patches and security updates, you’re basically at the mercy of hackers. Most users don’t want to take the risk of losing important data and having to deal with a cyber breach.
Now you know that the Windows 7 OS will not be a safe product to use over the internet in a couple of years. So you have to ask yourself if you’re ready to move into the future with the more modern Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 gets regular patches and updates to keep it secure. It will install on most devices and machines with no problems or issues, but Microsoft does have a vast array of help and support documents on their website in case you run into trouble.
For enterprise upgrades, it’s best to seek the help of an IT professional. This is a good way to ensure that everything is upgraded correctly and that all firewalls and antivirus are in place and working optimally. Depending on what type of hardware and software you’re using, you may need to take specific steps to make sure everything is fully compatible.
We all dislike change; it’s just normal. But when it comes to something important like your operating system, your company and staff will benefit by having the latest Microsoft products installed. Each year, all-new features are added to Windows operating systems to make them easier to use and give users a better experience. Once your team knows how to use all these great features, they can save time while producing better documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint displays and such.
Author: Joe Martin, Date: 2018-07-10