EOL for Windows 7

End of Life for Windows 7 & Server 2008
What Does It Mean??

By: Paul Facey, Advanced Technician

It’s the end of the road for Windows 7 and Server 2008 platforms. Starting January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer support updates, security patches, or development of these systems. 

Though that means no more disruptive notifications telling you to install the update and restart your computer, it also means security problems discovered after that date will not be fixed by Microsoft. 

In effect, any newly discovered security holes could be exploited by hackers for criminal purposes. There’s no telling what they might do, but possibilities include gaining control of your computer and modifying it for their own purposes, installing software to monitor keystrokes, using it to launch malware or DoS (denial of service) attacks against other systems, or just about anything else. 

End of life also means there could be compatibility problems installing new software. Over time, the system will slow because it won’t have new drivers to make it function its best. Without system updates, anti-virus protection will quickly become out of date, unable to identify new threats. 

The single best solution for addressing this problem and keeping your system secure is installing Windows 10 or the latest version of Microsoft server, whichever suits the need. As fully supported platforms, these operating systems will continue to be secure for a long time. 

Though it may be cost-prohibitive for businesses with many systems to upgrade all at once, we recommend using a phased approach to get started as soon as possible. Keep in mind that not all computers running Windows 7 have the capability to support Windows 10. The best investment may be to upgrade the entire computer and get the new hardware and warranty that come with it. If you’re not sure about your best option, we can help you identify the most cost-effective solution. 

If there’s a reason you haven’t updated already, such as using legacy software that’s not supported by newer versions of Windows, the prospect of updating may be more challenging. 

There are options though. You can purchase Extended Security Updates (ESUs) from Microsoft. The downside of this solution is it will only be available through 2023, and the price will double every year. The ESUs have to be purchased on a per-device basis starting at $25 the first year. 

If your business is uniquely reliant on Windows 7, we can help identify customized options using third-party software and anti-virus. 

A final note on updates in general. Though they often pop up at inconvenient times, they don’t have to drain your productivity. At Networks Plus, scheduled updates on nights or weekends or whenever is convenient for you is one of the many benefits of our managed service product. Give us a call if you want to know more about how we can help!