As Frank Sinatra sang in “My Way”… “the end is near, and so I face the final curtain”. Sombre words for a song about a love affair and also the swansong for Ol Blue Eyes, but there are parallels to the End Of Life approaching for Windows 7.
The End IS Near, in fact in about 10 months at time of writing and this certainly will be the end of an era as Windows 7 was by far the most popular and best operating system Microsoft had launched since Win XP. Although many thought Mr. Sinatra was past his sell by date when he released My Way, it was one of his biggest hits However, this is not the case for Win 7 users, who probably all still think it is a perfectly good operating system and there is no need to use something newer (Windows 10).
The fact is that on 14th January 2020 it will officially be the End Of Life for the Windows 7 operating system. Whilst this does not sound to onerous it should be noted that there are over 1 Billion Windows desktop computers in the world and at the end of December some 46% of those are still running Windows 7. That’s 460,000,000 computers that need to be upgraded in the next 10 months. That’s a lot of work opportunity for professional IT companies like FunctionEight.
There are reports that Microsoft will offer continued support for this operating system at ever increasing prices. US$50 for the first year, US$100 for the second year, US$200 for the third year etc. Microsoft has increased the price of Windows 10 so it is gradually getting more expensive to perform the upgrade meaning that you should probably act now rather than later.
So why do you need to be concerned and why do you need to upgrade? Whilst your computer will still work after the deadline, you should know that you will be vulnerable to any new bugs, viruses or other exploits from that date as Microsoft will not be providing patches or updates. Its like eating a loaf of bread after the consume by date. If you eat it the day after you will probably be okay, a week later maybe you will be okay, but a month or 6 months after the consume by date significantly increases the chances that you are going to get sick.
Compliance and liability issues should also be considered. Many companies have policies in place that state they are required to run software that is supported by the manufacturer and that will not be adhered to if upgrades are not done. Also consider what your clients or investors etc may think if you get hacked and lose confidential data because you were running outdated software.
The upgrade is relatively simple and the process can easily be handled by your computer department or outsourced IT company:-
- Audit all your computers in the company listing the operating system, software’s etc that run on them, whether they are 32 or 64 bit.
- Identify old machines that are out of warranty and should be replaced.
- Identify machines that need an upgrade before Windows 10 will successfully run on them.
- Identify and consider replacing legacy systems that use older operating systems and/or software with updated technology
- Develop a timeline and budget for upgrades and replacements.
- Implement security controls to separate critical systems from Windows 7 machines that cannot be upgraded or removed
- Perform the replacements or upgrades according to the schedule all to be completed before Jan 14th 2020
- Plan for employee training to learn the new operating system as necessary.
For each computer there will be the license cost for the Windows 10 Operating System, replacement cost for old hardware and the time element to do all the work above.
If your business has computers running Windows 7, now is the time to start planning for its end of life date. FunctionEight Limited can assist you in either working with your internal IT department on a project basis, or as your outsourced IT partner, in the necessary planning and work required for this upgrade. We provide Stress Free IT and will ensure that your transition to Windows 10 is smooth and seamless. Don’t wait until its too late, the closer we get to the deadline the more expensive the exercise will be for your company. Contact us to get started!