It’s the End of an Era

Windows 7 is coming to its end of life on January 14, 2020. This means the end of security updates and a much higher risk of damage from malicious hackers.

And for business owners, that requires some preparation.

In the technology world, End of Life refers to the end of support for a hardware or software, including security updates and customer service. That means that the developer, or in this case Microsoft, will no longer fix flaws and bugs that are associated with the operating system. You can still use the product, but it is not advised.

End of Life

Your Business

The end of life for a software product is a significant challenge for businesses. In fact, when Microsoft ended support for the Windows XP product in 2014, it affected 40 percent of the one billion computers in the world. And it’s estimated that up to 7 percent of the world’s computers are still using this outdated operating system.

For small to midsized businesses, the end of life process can be a challenging, daunting experience. And some companies avoid it altogether due to the expense and time-consuming work that an update can entail. Many businesses also use legacy systems or software that relies on an older operating system.

As a business owner, you should be prepared for the upgrade process, but don’t be afraid of it. In this guide, Acumen will prepare you for Windows 7 End of Life and its upgrade process.

40%

Of 1 Billion Computers Affected

7%

Of the World’s Computers still Run Windows XP

Worldwide Users

70% of businesses worldwide use Windows 7

Windows 7 End of Life Date

Microsoft announced that Windows 7 will reach its end of life on January 14, 2020.

And the end of life for this product is going to have a major impact on Windows users.  In fact, Windows 7 is currently in use by nearly 70 percent of businesses worldwide.

So if your business is currently running on Windows 7 products, it’s essential that you carefully begin planning for this upcoming end of life process.

What do I need to do to Prepare?

A smooth, successful transition to prepare for Windows 7 End of Life requires you to:

  • Identify machines that need to be upgraded or replaced
  • Identify and consider replacing legacy software that requires XP or 7.
  • Develop a timeline and budget for upgrades and replacements
  • Implement security controls to separate critical systems for Windows 7 machines that cannot be upgraded or removed
  • Plan for employee training to learn the new system
  • Identify

  • Develop

  • Plan

  • Implement

The Windows Product Lifecycle

All Windows products have a lifecycle, beginning with their release and ending with the termination of support. Past product lifecycles have lasted anywhere from five to ten years, depending on the product or software. Click here to review the Windows Lifecycle fact sheet.

Within the lifecycle, there’s typically two service 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 developing the product, focusing instead on the release of updates to keep the product safe. End of life is the point at which no further support will be extended.

However, with the release of Windows 10, Microsoft adopted a new policy for the sustainability of their products. This model is known as Windows as a Service (WaaS) and incorporates continuous updates and support for current product offerings, such as Windows 10.

And that’s good news! From this point forward, businesses using Windows 10 will remain to-to-date with the latest updates and fixes. So if you upgrade your business system to Windows 10, you won’t need to upgrade to a new operating system, and you won’t worry about which one will be the least troublesome to implement.

WaaS ensures that you will have a smooth transition between iterations of a single operating system. While Windows 10 may look completely different ten years from now, incremental updates will take place behind the scenes in order to avoid a major upheaval to business systems.

Click here to view the Windows Lifecycle fact sheet.

Will I still be able to Use Windows 7?

Your computer will still work, but you will be vulnerable to bugs and exploits after January 14, 2020. Here at Acumen, we advise that you start planning your business’s end of life process to Windows 10 now. That way, once the end of life date nears, you have a smooth, successful transition.

Acumen can Help!

Contact us today to learn about how Acumen can help you plan for Windows 7 End of Life.