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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 30th Jul 2018



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Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 in 17 months’ time.

Microsoft have recently announced that Windows 7 is to become ‘end of life’ with effect from 14th January 2020, what this means is that all product updates and more importantly, security updates for Windows 7, will cease from that date.

Without security updates, any vulnerabilities found in the software will be left unpatched and this could in turn lead to anyone using Windows 7 being exposed to potential malicious attack.

This is the Microsoft Statement :

“Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that they can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC will no longer be made available for the product. 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.”

I would advise you to begin planning your company’s transition to Windows 10 now, well in advance of the 2020 deadline. The sooner you begin these plans the more time you will have to address issues while Windows 7 is still supported.

What do you need to do to prepare?

Upgrading to a new operating system takes time and careful planning, particularly if you have numerous machines and systems to assess. A smooth and successful transition to a new operating system requires you to:

  • Identify machines that need to be upgraded or replaced
  • Identify and consider replacing legacy systems using 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
  • Plan for employee training to learn the new system

The Windows Product Life Cycle

All Windows products have a lifecycle, beginning with their release and ending with the end of life announcement.  Previously, these lifecycles terms could last between five to ten years, depending on the product. Normally this would include two maintenance periods: mainstream support and extended support. Mainstream support includes security patches as well as new features and often covers several years. Extended support begins once Microsoft is no longer actively developing the product, shifting instead to the release of updates to keep the product safe.  End of life is the point at which no further support will be extended.

With the introduction of Windows 10, however, Microsoft adopted a new policy for the sustainability and resilience of their products. This model is known as Windows as a Service (WaaS) and incorporates continuous updates and support for current product offerings, like Windows 10.

This is good news for business. From now on businesses using Windows 10 will remain updated with the latest patches and updates. There will be no requirement to upgrade to a new operating system, and there will be no need to be concerned about which one will be the most problematic to use. Windows as a Service (WaaS) will assure a smooth transition between iterations of a single operating system. It’s likely that Windows 10 will look entirely different in the future, but regular updates will take place to the software obviating the need for constant and major upheaval to business systems.

If you’d like help with the above together with more information about Windows 7 and the 2020 deadline please call me us on 0845 4 300 366.

Regards,
Damien

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