Windows 7 Support Ends in January 2020
Here’s our first warning: Microsoft will end technical support of its Windows 7 operating system in January 2020. That means there will be no more security patches and bug fixes. Is that bad news? Probably not. Performance-wise, the operating system has outlived its usefulness, and all the special applications and hardware you run off it are probably well beyond their useful service life. We’d bet you’ve likely squeezed out every penny of your ROI, and Microsoft is doing you a favor (of sorts) by nudging you into its next generation OS.
The good news is that you have lots of time to plan for its replacement, and that’s important for businesses who have invested a lot of time, training and money for custom-written or highly customized software. If that’s the case for your business, you have my sympathies, but you should also know you’ve had a really good run.
We’ll talk more about the economics of performance issues in this newsletter (Refreshing Devices Re-Energizes Them – Up to a Point), but if you’re still running Windows 7, you face security issues and the need to carefully plan how you’ll replace your application software.
The loss of security patches and bug fixes will be devastating if you don’t update your technology. Because Windows 7 is an old OS, the bad guys have had lots of time to probe its vulnerabilities. Once the defenses go down, their efforts to crack a system that they can monetize will pick up. They’ll look for ways to get your financial information or disrupt your operations.
We suggest you start your transition planning now. If you have custom-written (proprietary) software, you must find out now if that software can be updated or rewritten. If it can be brought up to date to carry you into the future, your provider will need time to modify or create and test the software, and you’ll need to know how much computing power you’ll need to make it work.
We can help you look at the computer specs needed to meet your processing requirements, and we can work with your software provider to make sure hardware and software are coordinated. Microsoft is planning a massive Windows 10 update this month, and it’s reasonable to expect another update if you plan to have your new system up and running before the end of 2019. Working together, we’ll have the best chance to make sure that your new application software is compatible with the OS updates and that it will work throughout the lifetime of Windows 10 and its successor.
If you’re upgrading your software to work with Windows 10, we can’t encourage you enough to upgrade your hardware, especially if your current hardware is way below current standards. The new OS and application software will be written to work with most up-to-date and most-likely-to-be-improved processors. If you match your hardware and software systems properly, you’ll get performance levels that have the capability to make your business more efficient and profitable for a longer time.
This will move you into a new realm of business and technology management. Once we know how all the ideal pieces should fit together, we can help you budget for your transition – which could be spread out over 18 months or so. We can help you bring in new computers in stages that match your software development, so that you and your employees can test systems and offer feedback to all of your providers.
With proper budgeting, scheduling, testing and training throughout the process, we can help you coordinate all the steps involved so that we can install your system and have all employees trained on their new hardware and software with minimal – if any – downtime.
It’s not too early to start the conversation. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to set up an appointment to discuss your migration from Windows 7.