On 14th January 2020, Microsoft will end its extended support for Windows 7. Mainstream support already closed off in 2015, but this truly is the end of the line. As Microsoft itself states, this is so the company can focus on ‘supporting newer technologies and great new experiences’.
In practice, this means that Microsoft will no longer supply any security or feature updates for any Windows 7 products. Your Windows 7-enabled computers and devices will carry on working – you won’t suddenly suffer a catastrophic loss in business operations – but your organisation’s cybersecurity risk factors will be far higher, and your operating system will not be optimised over time. New features and applications developed by Microsoft may not be compatible with your operating systems, which could lead to your business being less competitive in the marketplace.
So – what are your options? There are a few to consider.
First, and most obvious, is to upgrade your operating system to Windows 10 which is what Microsoft recommends. This grants you all of the benefits you used to enjoy with Windows 7 – regular rollouts of patches, upgrades and new features, as well as whatever level of user support and training you require. If your hardware is compatible with Windows 10, this is the recommended option. Microsoft also recommends that for the best possible experience, you undertake a fresh installation of your programmes and apps on the new operating system.
The other option is, you could do nothing, but this is a huge gamble. Not only will your organisation be highly vulnerable to cyberattacks over the internet, but this risk will only grow over time. Cybercriminals develop new tools and techniques all the time, and it is vital for enterprise IT to be equally dynamic in order to keep up. A static, no-longer-supported operating system is an open invitation for data theft and exploitation.
If you are unsure of the best route forward for your business, why not get in touch with Distec today? Our experts can advise on the most strategic and cost-effective option for your organisation, maximising flexibility and agility for the future, whilst keeping your business safe and secure today.