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Windows 7 has been one of the most successful operating systems developed by Microsoft. Its resilience has been boosted by a controversy surrounding Windows 8. Millions of organizations skipped the Windows 8 OS and stuck to Windows 7. Many businesses are still not convinced that Windows 10 is any better than Windows 8. Even though there are still valid reasons to stay with Windows 7, you need to start preparing for an inevitable upgrade.
January 2020 will be the end of the road for Windows 7. This means that Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 with security updates, bug fixes and other support. This is known as a product’s End of Life.
Until then, you can enjoy the operating system’s extended support as Microsoft works on phasing it out. As of now, Microsoft is still offering paid support for the operating system but has terminated all the complimentary updates that come with the product license.
Support Status for Windows 7
Like many Microsoft products, Windows 7 came with a predetermined support timeline. It’s good to know a product’s support lifecycle so that you know when to upgrade. The conventional mainstream support for Microsoft’s operating systems stopped developing Windows 7 updates on January 13, 2015.
With all the dangers of security breaches and hacking, users should start preparing now for their new Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 will get full support, patches and security updates for years to come. It has new built-in security features that older operating systems did not have.
Using an outdated operating system makes you vulnerable to hacking attacks. Many organizations that stayed with Windows XP after the expiry of its lifecycle suffered severe cyber attacks from infamous programs like the WannaCry ransomware. There’s a good chance that hackers are already working on exploiting the vulnerabilities that will be created when Microsoft ends their extended support period for Windows 7.
Why Microsoft Has to End Windows 7 Support
Microsoft has policies in place stipulating how the lifecycle of a product begins and how it ends. The product’s lifecycle starts when it is released into the market and ends when the company stops providing support.
Microsoft has put a lot of thought into the development of the Windows 10 Operating System. They’ve incorporated many of the favorite features found in Windows 7 that made it so popular with users. It offers all the best functionalities and top-notch security.
What Windows 7 End of Life Means to You
Products that are no longer supported by the manufacturer are not just a security risk to users. They stop working as originally designed. As time goes by, some features could degrade. Also, Microsoft will not take responsibility for loss of data due to security breaches on Windows 7.
Cyber thieves know that some users will ignore the product’s end of life and continue using Windows 7. This will give them an excellent opportunity to download malware and ransomware viruses. For any business, this could result in an expensive disaster. Your data could be held hostage until you pay the ransom. Security breaches cause damage to a business’s reputation as well.
Government Agencies and Compliance
One of the greatest dangers of using an old, outdated operating system is that government entities and others who are regulated by the government will be out of compliance. This includes those who process credit card transactions (PCI-DSS), the financial industry (GLBA), and HIPAA regulations for the healthcare industry. Federal agencies that must comply with FISMA could also be out of compliance. Those organizations that do fall out of compliance could be fined or penalized in other ways.
Preparing for Windows 7 End of Life
As users learn about the end of life for Windows 7, they should upgrade to the latest operating system. For businesses, it’s best not to wait until the last minute. If too many organizations wait to upgrade, then there could be a rush that causes IT support to be slow or unavailable. Your business operations could come to a halt as you wait for your IT provider to get to you. Interruptions to your workflow can be expensive.
To ensure that your upgrade goes smoothly and that your data is kept secure, contact your IT department or provider now. In most instances, the transition to Windows 10 will go smoothly. Your IT provider will make sure that all your applications are compatible with your new operating system and that there are no conflicts.
To keep your data safe from viruses and malware, the Windows 10 Operating System offers much better security, and it’s built right into the product. It can support all types of applications and is compatible with practically an unlimited number of devices.
Windows 10 gets regular updates and full support. Downloading and installing this product is a straightforward process. In spite of this, business owners should allow their in-house IT department or their IT service provider to make the switch. Experienced tech people have the skills to ensure that everything will go smoothly and that no data will be lost. This can minimize any issues, problems or downtime.
If you need help making the transition to Windows 10, contact us. We have techs on duty now that can prepare your network for the new installation. This can all be done after hours, so your employees are not inconvenienced. Colorado Computer Support serves the greater Colorado Springs area.
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