Microsoft has announced end of support (EOS) dates for Windows 7 and Office 2010 of 14 January 2020 and 13 October 2020 respectively.
What this means is that, although the software will still work, once end of support has been reached, Windows 7 and Office 2010 will no longer be supported by Microsoft or receive updates - and the risk for organisations is significant, particularly if a new security vulnerability is discovered or the software needs to integrate with a newer application.
The pattern of ending support for software has been a regular occurrence since the eighties, and was often tied to upgrades to PC hardware, with an average of seven years becoming the benchmark for an IT refresh.
With subscription-based cloud technology, updates are automatic. The version is, therefore, always the latest - evergreen technology - and technical support is provided for as long as the organisation subscribes.
Software End of Support - The prompt you need to move to the cloud?
End of support could actually present a great opportunity for organisations with Windows 7 and/or Office 2010 - the chance to open the business up to the potential that moving to the cloud brings.
As well as being able to rely on software that is supported and continually updated to the latest version, with cloud solutions there are significant additional benefits.
In fact, the opportunities with cloud are massive:
- Software can be accessed via multiple devices.
- There’s improved document management and collaboration within the organisation.
- Cloud means moving from a CAPEX to an OPEX spending model, with the ability to scale in line with the size of the workforce.
- For the IT department, having all staff on the same operating systems and office productivity software provides major benefit for the support team – particularly for organisations which have users with laptops, PCs and tablets.
Moving to the Cloud: A Strategic Decision?
For many organisations, the decision to move to a cloud-based approach to software represents a significant strategic shift.
However, the longer-term reality is that old fashioned boxed software will eventually die off, as it’s expensive for software vendors to maintain a number of different versions. In addition, organisations should be aware that their users won’t want to lag behind their peers with technology.
If you’ve already upgraded away from the legacy Windows 7 and Office 2010 to newer versions, such as Windows 8 and/or Office 2013, it’s worth remembering that this means the ticking clock has been moved slightly, but not stopped. In a few years (2023), the old boxed software versions of Office 2013 will reach end of extended support along with Windows 8, and other well-used products, such as BizTalk, Lync Server and Dynamics.
Wayne Hollomby, Cobweb solutions architect, says, "Increasing numbers of businesses are moving to embrace the ‘modern workplace’, where open, collaborative working unrestricted by location is improving productivity and efficiency.
"Cloud solutions enable this move, incorporating productivity enhancing applications along with security features that give protection far in advance of what’s available on-premises - as well as removing the risk to businesses resulting from using outdated software."