What to Do Now That Windows 7 Support Is Ending

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end their support for Windows 7, putting any systems still running this OS at risk. Learn why it’s time to upgrade here.  

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft will end their support for Windows 7, putting any systems still running this OS at risk. Learn why it’s time to upgrade here.  

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For several months, IT service providers and Microsoft themselves have been warning consumers and enterprises around the world that support for Windows 7 will soon be coming to an end. You may have also noticed a barrage of pop-up messages from Microsoft, warning you of Windows 7’s imminent end.

According to Microsoft’s most recent memo on the subject:

“Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support so that we can focus our investment on supporting newer technologies and great new experiences.”

They go on to state that the last date Windows 7 support will be in existence is January 14, 2020. Following this date, “technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product.”

What does the loss of Windows 7 support mean for me?

If you currently run Windows 7 on your business’s computers, it’s time to upgrade to Microsoft’s new operating system: Windows 10. Microsoft strongly urges that you make this update as soon as possible before support is lost for Windows 7. Depending on the extent of your internal networks and current hardware, updating your systems sooner rather than later will allow you more time for a seamless transition.

Here are some other critical reasons to upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible:

1. Loss of Windows 7 technical servicing

Up until January 14th, 2020, if you have a concern or inquiry regarding Windows 7, you can contact Microsoft as usual and request assistance. After this time, however, you will receive no assistance from Microsoft.

As a business, you must assume that there will be times during which you have problems with your operating system, including technical issues or security concerns. Knowing that you won’t receive assistance for these matters after January 14th, 2020 should alert you that if you don’t update soon, your business’s daily operations could be in jeopardy.

2. Improved security tools with Windows 10’s Windows Defender Exploit Guard

With Windows 10, Microsoft has ramped up their security programs. One of the ways in which they’ve done this is by developing Windows Defender Exploit Guard. This program constantly monitors your systems for malicious software. When something bad is detected, it then becomes immediately cordoned off and removed.

For those companies who are interested in even better malware protection, there is also the option of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. This is a cloud-based subscription service that allows for more comprehensive security prevention across larger networks.

3. Less vulnerability to ransomware

Not upgrading to Windows 10 leaves you and your business vulnerable to the growing problem of ransomware.

Ransomware is a form of malware (or malicious software), which handicaps your access to your system or data. Those who implemented the ransomware will then demand a large sum of money in return for regained access. This has already happened to numerous businesses, local governments, and individuals around the nation.

An operating system without efficient updates, technical support, and the latest security defenses is acutely vulnerable to these dangerous attacks.

How do I go about updating to Windows 10?

Many businesses across the nation have already upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

To be sure, making this upgrade as soon as possible is advantageous on every level. It allows for more time to adjust to the new system, more time to work out kinks before fully transitioning (and losing Windows 7 technical support), and more time to accrue the funds that may be needed for hardware upgrades.

Furthermore, it goes without saying that cybercriminals are at-the-ready with malware designed to target those PCs still running Windows 7 after January 14th. Avoiding a shift before this date puts you in unique danger of a breach.

If you have not yet started the process of upgrading to Windows 10, speak to an IT service provider about assisting you with this large transition. You can also contact your Microsoft account manager directly to receive guidance. Having a support staff to help you navigate the ins and out of a large shift like this will make the entire process easier, faster, and less of a disruption for yourself, your employees, and your daily operations.