Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 End-Of-Life and what it means for your business.
Starting January 14,2020 there will be no more updates for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 since it is the product End-Of-Life. Cyber Criminals, Hackers, and other nefarious entities would be on the hunt for computers that are not secure. Their easiest prey would be the ones who are using Windows 7. Existing bugs, vulnerabilities, loopholes and other security features will no longer be patched up and easily exploited by hackers and fraudsters.
Your computer is a going to be a bulls-eye target. Windows Defender will not get further updates. More and more software companies will not focus on patching up Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 compatible software. So the risk of software to be compromised would be tremendously higher. Besides it is a fact that malware, spyware, exploits and the like easily run on Windows 7 compared to Windows 10.
Ransomware attacks have been extremely effective in hitting Windows 7 computers. It might be the case for Windows server 2008 R2 in the coming months. Once a computer gets breached by ransomware, it easily spreads throughout the network and there is a very slim chance of fixing it or paying a hefty price to have it decrypted.
Microsoft offers an extended support but it costs a lot for software that will be retired and you would still end up with outdated software.
There is a paradigm that if it is not broken, do not fix it. However, this does not apply to this scenario. By now, bad guys are anticipating that the outdated software will eventually dissolve its security eventually and they will hunt it down to infect it. They are aware that the security will go down eventually and they are just waiting. Even regular backups are even targets of ransomware and malware developers which makes it harder nowadays to retrieve the encrypted files.
You would need a strong and stable Operating System like Windows 10 and Windows Server 2008 for you to survive this digital age.
Windows 7 has been around since 2015, however, Windows 10 is now the de-facto stable Operating System. A lot of people refuse to move forward and afraid of change. This change means a lot in terms of security and stability and is advised to switch over ASAP.
A lot of people missed the free upgrade Microsoft had offered to switch over from Windows 7, 8, 8.1 over to Windows 10. Approximately 600 million computers running Windows 7 and once the safeguards are down, attackers can easily target any of those easily.
Many companies chose to stick to Windows 10 due to software compatibility of their existing software. It would be security risk for them and it would not be an easy task migrating and testing if everything works with the newer version.
End-Of-Life means that Microsoft will not be making new updates, patches, fixes and other nifty stuff to fix vulnerabilities from your computer which may arise after the product has been retired. Newer software may not be compatible with the older systems as well since developers have now switched their focus on making everything Windows 10 compatible.
There is a costly silver lining for computers that do not get upgraded to Windows 10. Microsoft has made Windows 7 Extended Security updates available for a huge price up to 2023 which give companies and organizations to sort our how they would like to move forward.
For those who do not have the option to switch immediately, they have an add-on support for customers. They are offering roughly $175 support for three (3) years per device if the company is a Windows 10 Enterprise or Microsoft 365 Enterprise customer. If they are not, it will cost around $350 per Windows 7 system. There are also additional fees for organizations that need to jump into coverage in years two or three.
For this price range, buying a new computer would sound like a smarter choice.There might be caveats, one of which is the software compatibility. Currently owned software might not run and it might be a major stumbling block. Custom made or 3rd party software that you have purchased might not run correctly on Windows 10 or may not run at all. This would probably force you to buy a newer version which would be compatible and a whole lot more.
Upgrading to the newer Operating System is not that difficult since most mainstream applications work on the newer Operating System.
We can help clients test and assess software compatibility of existing software if it will work on Windows 10. We can also test existing hardware if they are compatible. Really old computers may not be able to handle the newer software.
We can analyze each of our your PC’s and recommend which ones will work adequately with Windows 10 and which ones should be replaced. There are times that it can be more cost efficient to purchase new machines, than spend money on upgrading old hardware. This is, of course, on a case by case basis.
Continuing to run Windows 7 will be a major risk come 2020.
Switching over should not be much of a problem since both versions are Microsoft products, and it is supposed to be easier to make the shift. Furthermore, said shift will aid you in saving most of your files, which would minimize the disruption of updating.
The switch from Windows Server 2008 R2 to a newer version might not be the same experience though. Server migrations are far more complex and has a lot of variables you need to consider. This may also be a great time to evaluate the number, size, and types of servers in your business. With the changing technology landscape, many businesses are evaluating alternatives to a server environment and/or how to consolidate to a fewer number of servers.
You might feel that sticking to Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 is a good choice since they have been both stable and reliable. Technological advances and changes are always for the good and you should move forward with it.
As of now, most software designed for Windows 7 would can run on Windows 10 machines without problems. There are just a handful of applications that do not. These include custom made software and really antiquated ones. To be safe, test the application on a Windows 10 machine before you make a decision to migrate to a newer operating system.
Would you still risk not updating to the newest versions?