Why You Need to Prepare for Windows 7 End of Life
On January 14th, 2020 Microsoft will end extended support for the Windows 7 Operating System. This is known in tech terms as end-of-life for the software. So, what does this mean and how do you prepare for Windows 7 End of Life?
What the End of Extended Support Means
First, Windows 7 will NOT stop working on January 20, 2020. However, you will no longer be able to get support from Microsoft, nor will they be issuing any patches or security updates. Because of this, if you continue to operate a computer with Windows 7 after this date, you will be increasingly more vulnerable to exploits, bugs, viruses and ransomware.
Microsoft “strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.”
Why Is This A Problem?
Windows 7 was launched on July 22, 2009, that’s over 8 years ago, so not that many people can be using it still, right? Not so fast, based on the latest figures Windows 7 is still the OS on 46.6% of all Windows PC’s. We see roughly the same percentage of Windows 7 computers in use on our client base as well.
All of those devices, and the information on them are open to attack, exploitation and data theft.
What Can Businesses Do To Prepare For Windows 7 End of Life?
To prepare for Windows 7 End of Life you need to first identify the machines that are running the Operating System. If you are a Miller Group customer, you will be hearing from us if you haven’t already.
Once you know what you’ve got its time to think about upgrading or replacing.
Minimum specs for a Windows 10 PC are as follows:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor SoC.
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
- Display: 800×600.
These specs are fairly modest, so most older machines will be able to run Windows 10. There is some speculation that as Windows 10 ‘evolves’ then these specs may no longer be enough. Although upgrading is an option, Windows 7 end of life may be a good opportunity to put together an IT refresh plan and start to replace older hardware. We recommend that desktop PC’s are replaced every 3-5 years. It may be more economically viable to purchase new rather than upgrade. New business class, desktop computers with a Windows 10 license can range from around $600 – $2000.
The most important thing is to start planning. January 2020 is a little bit over a year away. If you’ve got many PC’s that need upgrading or replacing, then you need to start planning now.
When Will Support For Windows 10 End?
The good news is that with the introduction of Windows 10 Microsoft adopted a new way of thinking in regards to its desktop OS. This is known as Windows as a Service (WaaS) and is good thing for business. From this point forward, businesses using Windows 10 will remain up-to-date with the latest fixes and updates.
As of now, Microsoft’s plan is to have Windows 10 be the ‘last’ Windows. You won’t ever need to upgrade to a new operating system. Incremental updates will happen behind the scenes without major upheaval. So, in a few years’ time, Windows 10 may look completely different it will have ‘morphed’ in the background with no costly, difficult upgrades.
How We Can Help
If you’re already a client of The Miller Group give us a call and we’ll tell you which machines are running Windows 7 and how old they are. We’ll do this as part of your reviews anyway and we’ll be in touch about those soon.
Not a client of The Miller Group? Shame on you! Seriously, if your business is still using Windows 7 we can assist you as you prepare for Windows 7 End of Life. We can talk you through the best strategy to migrate to Windows 10.
Contact us today!