Does your business still run Windows 7? Microsoft will be ending Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020. Here’s what you need to do to prepare for the change.
With Support for Windows 7 Ending, How Should You Proceed?
As 2019 comes to an end, an increasing number of companies are scrambling to transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10. That’s because Windows 7 producer Microsoft announced earlier this year that it will no longer be servicing or supporting Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020.
The transition comes at a time when nearly 40% of Windows users are still using Windows 7. In all likelihood, this number is dwindling with each passing day. But it still leaves a tremendous number of users on the Windows 7 operating system.
Chuck Lobert, who provides IT services in Detroit shares important details on Microsoft ending support on Windows 7.
Why Is Windows 7 Support Ending?
Windows 7 was released 10 years ago in 2009, and it was always the plan for support to end after 10 years.
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 provides better overall service, improved privacy and security, automatic updates, better productivity, more management features, better apps, and overall improved efficiencies. Simultaneously offering support for Windows 7 and Windows 10 would be a burden for Microsoft, so they’re ready to leap forward and leave Windows 7 behind.
Does This Mean You Won’t Be Able to Use Windows 7 Anymore?
No. Technically speaking, you can still continue to use Windows 7, but do so at your own risk.
When Microsoft says that it will end support and services for Windows 7, they mean that they will no longer offer updates to the operating system or help with troubleshooting, security issues, or other problems. As a result of the lack of updates, those who continue to use Windows 7 after January 14, 2020 will be increasingly susceptible to cyberattacks — the number and variety of which are increasing every day.
It is almost certain that you will have serious security issues if you continue to use Windows 7 after the sunset date.
Do You Have to Buy a Whole New Computer for Windows 10?
No, you don’t have to, but it is recommended. Technically, you can simply upgrade your current Windows-based personal computers to Windows 10. Your PC will, however, need to meet certain requirements, such as a 1 GHz or faster compatible processor, up to 20GB of available hard disk space, and other requirements and specifications.
How Do You Get Windows 10?
Windows 10 has been available for some time, but keep in mind that you won’t find it on sites like Amazon or eBay. You’ll need to go to the Microsoft website to obtain the Windows 10 operating system.
Making the Transition From Windows 7 to Windows 10
For many companies (and especially for large companies), making the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 can seem daunting. To be sure, many businesses admit feeling overwhelmed by the huge change as all of their computers and machines are based in Windows 7.
Our first piece of advice, therefore, is to seek professional assistance. Your IT service provider should have been alerting you of this change for the past several months. On the other hand, if you don’t work with an outsourced managed service provider (MSP), you naturally wouldn’t have received these warnings.
That’s okay. There’s still time to find an MSP who will work with you during this transition. Having their help will be especially beneficial as they’ll know just how to go about making the easiest transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10. In some cases, for example, it may be beneficial to simply update your current PCs. For the time being, this will allow you and your staff to get use to the Windows 10 operating system before you need to consider purchasing new Windows 10 machines.
If this option doesn’t work, your managed service provider may recommend purchasing Extended Security Updates for your Windows 7 PCs. These updates are available for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users. The updates will keep you current through January of 2023.
These two options (updating your Windows 7 machines to Windows 10 or paying for Extended Security Updates) will help you out for a short amount of time. But eventually, you will need to migrate completely to Windows 10.
The good news is, many users of Windows 10 have touted the superior features this operating system offers. Therefore, once you make the transition and familiarize yourself and your employees with it, it’s likely you’ll be quite satisfied with what Windows 10 can do for you and your business.