The end of Windows 7 mainstream support is on 14 January 2020, and so it’s finally time to say goodbye to one of the most popular operating systems of all time. The impact of Windows 7 in the SMB and enterprise business markets was unprecedented, although the stack of old discs at home in my pile of techno-junk (every engineer must have one) can attest that it was pretty popular in the consumer market, too.
When a version of Windows is succeeded by a new version, it’s feature-updates are the first to come to an end - this happened in 2016 for Windows 7. But critical security updates are still provided by Microsoft for licensed systems. This is vital for any business – it means that systems are secure from the latest exploits and threats, even if the business doesn’t have the latest features – and good to know.
However, once the operating system reaches its end of life date, there are no further security patches provided. Because of this, businesses still using Windows 7 from 14 January 2020 onwards will be at an immediate and significant risk.
Attackers are in-the-loop too, and already know that any exploits they identify from that point on will not be patched. Once a new vulnerability has been found they can utilise it to develop an exploit chain that can be used indefinitely on any Windows 7 systems – it gets pretty scary from there on out.
Microsoft will be providing continued Windows 7 support for extremely large enterprises and public sector customers, as they did for Windows XP. However, this time around Microsoft is more likely to expect all types of customer to upgrade their operating systems, as third-party application compatibility levels between Windows 7 and Windows 10 are extremely high, and which was not the case when businesses were transitioning from Windows XP systems to Windows 7.
In fact, Microsoft is so confident about the compatibility levels, they’re offering a free support service to partners moving their customers in the event of any issues.
At Cobweb we can provide you with all the adoption assistance you might need by providing technical discovery activities, using all the latest tooling and backing from Microsoft, in order to get your applications – and including any line-of-business applications your business relies on – ready for Windows 10.
With all this in consideration, it’s time to talk Windows 10.
Moving to Windows 10
If you’re still using Windows 7, there isn’t too much time left to transition - but there is still time, if you act now.
If you have existing Microsoft deployment technologies used to deploy Windows 7 or 8 - such as, Windows Deployment Services, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, SCCM - you can leverage these solutions in your move to Windows 10. If not, for large scale deployments it may be worth looking into deploying them for the first time. You may also want to also explore the modern deployment methods that are new and exclusive to Windows 10, such as the new out-of-box experience for users (self-provisioning), deployment policy files, or Autopilot – all solutions that try to reduce the burden of the deployment process for system administrators.
By migrating to Windows 10 you can bridge the gap between existing Windows 7 era solutions, and your business can look forward to taking advantage of the latest of what Microsoft and partners have to offer. A host of options are available to you - just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
You might also like to download a copy of our whitepaper, Microsoft Windows 7 and Office 2010 - end of support, which also looks at options for businesses with Office 2010 and facing end of support 13 October 2020.
From 14 January 2020 no further security patches will be provided - putting businesses still using Windows 7 at immediate and signif...Read More