The End of Windows 7 – January 2020

What does Windows 7 “End of Life” mean?
Microsoft have announced that Windows 7 will be “end of life” in January 2020. “End of Life” means that Microsoft are no longer considering the decade-old operating system, a viable and secure option for users. In fact, mainstream support for the product ended in January 2015 but has been in an “extended support” phase since. This means, no new features have been added, and warranty claims no longer valid. With the EOL planned in January 2020, this phase of extended support will also end.

What does this mean for you, if you are still running Windows 7?
Microsoft will no longer provide security patches and bug fixes for the operating system. With vulnerabilities continuously discovered, this causes serious concern for the security and stability of your data. Windows 7 is likely going to be a focus point for hackers and criminals, as the system will be increasingly vulnerable to attacks. Due to the product considered obsolete, Microsoft’s support for it will end as well. This means that if we, as your IT partner, need Microsoft’s help with resolving an issue, we no longer receive assistance. Once support becomes end of life, you can still use the software however, you should not.

ABT have received many questions from concerned users on what to do next.
The most beneficial options for those still working on Windows 7 are to upgrade the software or replace the workstation altogether. Changing to an alternative operating system such as Linux or MacOS is usually not viable, we strongly advise our clients not to consider the upgrade path. It is very questionable whether the cost of upgrading old Windows 7 machines to Windows 10 provides value. Typically, these devices are more than 3 years old and out of warranty, this means long-term reliability cannot be guaranteed. If you do decide to upgrade, you will have a modern operating system, however, the cost of licensing, downtime and labour associated with an upgrade does not justify the benefit. It is likely, that this upgraded device will soon require new hardware, causing these upgrade costs repeated.

Speak to us about your options to remove an existing, aging Windows 7 computer from your fleet. You will often find this to be a more economically viable solution in the long run. While we have you, we will discuss other expiring technologies with you, such as Office 2010, Server 2008, all critical Microsoft systems due for the end of their extended support.

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