Windows 7 End of Life Is January 2020 – James Imaging Can Help

Microsoft has announced the end of Windows 7 support and urged users to upgrade to its latest operating system. While many companies have already made a move to the latest operating system, others continue to work with what will soon be an outdated operating system.

Upgrading to Windows 10 is a critical aspect of data and cybersecurity for businesses. Read on to discover what Windows 7 end of life means and how it will impact a business.

What End of Life Means for Windows 7 Users

End of life refers to the date when a vendor stops marketing, selling, or providing support for a product. Essentially, the product has become obsolete. This typically happens when the company has released an updated version of a product or a service. For Microsoft, that product is Windows 10.

Many people are wondering what happens when Windows 7 support ends, and whether they’ll still be able to use their machines with the operating system installed. End of life doesn’t mean that the operating system will stop working on devices where it has already been installed. Instead, Microsoft will stop providing the patches or security upgrades to the general public. People or businesses who continue to use the product after its end of life do so at their own risk.

The Cost of Failing to Upgrade

Currently, some 28.2 percent of all PCs are running Windows 7, a testament to how popular the operating system has been. Many users are holding out on upgrading from Windows 7, the first “trustworthy” operating system after Windows XP. However, it was only at the beginning of this year that the popularity of Windows 10 outstripped that of Windows 7.

For businesses, the cost of failing to upgrade can be severe and expensive. Microsoft isn’t about to leave hanging businesses which can’t – or won’t – upgrade. Although tech support and security patches end for the general public, made a move running Windows 7 under a specific type of license will be able to purchase them directly from Microsoft. Companies shouldn’t get their hopes up, however. The purchased patches:

  • Will be priced per device and get more expensive each year. Prepare to shell out between $25 and $200 per device.
  • Will only last for three years. After 2023, Microsoft will end all support for Windows 7.
  • Require businesses to purchase security updates for previous years if they want them for later years. To get security updates in 2021, companies will need to have bought the security updates in 2020. Likewise, the security updates in 2022 will require having purchased those of 2020 and 2021. It’s an all-or-nothing commitment.

Companies which absolutely need to remain with Windows 7 because they’re unable to upgrade, or because they need more time to develop alternatives to Windows 10, have a last resort option courtesy of Microsoft. However, those who can upgrade should do so – as soon as possible.

Windows 10 Means Better Security

There are many reasons to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft loaded Windows 10 with features that make daily business processes faster, convenient, and more secure. However, with data security so important in the business world today, upgrading to Windows 10 is critical to maintaining a safe environment. Windows 10 means better protection for companies through:

1. Free, Automatic Security Patches

Security patches keep operating systems secure by evolving the system as (or before) malicious actors find a way into the files. Once the security updates for Windows 7 end, malware and cybercriminals will gain a leg up in their attempts to circumvent existing security measures. A breach may have never occurred in a company, and upgrading to Windows 10 helps guarantee that it doesn’t by keeping the security patches coming.

2. Satisfied Compliance Requirements

Companies within industries subject to compliance requirements may find themselves failing to maintain these requirements. Remaining with Windows 7 introduces a preventable risk, exposing data to a potential breach when that doesn’t have to happen.

3. Built-In Security Features

The latest Microsoft operating system now makes several security features standard which didn’t exist in previous operating systems. For example, Windows Defender now includes capabilities such as application whitelisting, network protection, and anti-phishing protection.

James Imaging Can Help Companies Migrate to Windows 10

Windows 7 end of life is a significant event because so many users still insist on clinging to this operating system. However, as Microsoft retires this version of Windows, companies that insist on remaining with this outdated operating system will increasingly find themselves subject to data and cybersecurity risks. Fortunately, such a fate is easily avoided by taking advantage of a skilled technician who can help the office update its computers with minimal or no disruption.

James Imaging Systems can help companies upgrade their computers to Windows 10 to avoid introducing unnecessary security risks into a business environment. Contact us today to get started with strategizing for your update.