What is Windows 7 ‘End of Life’ or ‘End of Support’?
Windows 7 End of Life is upon us – but what is it? Microsoft released Windows 7 in Q3 2009 – nearly ten years ago! When Microsoft releases an operating system such as Windows 7, they commit to providing patches, updates and security fixes for a given period.
These updates may be enhancements, bug-fixes or in response to security issues discovered with the software. In the case of Windows 7, Microsoft committed to providing updates until January 14th 2020. When an operating system passes this ‘end date’, it is known as being ‘end of life’ or ‘end of support’, often referred to as EOL.
Since Windows 7 was released, it was followed by Windows 8 (which wasn’t great) and more recently by Windows 10. Windows 10 is the currently supported and recommended operating system from Microsoft.
What happens after January 14th 2020?
Microsoft will no longer release updates or security fixes for Windows 7 after January 2020. If a bug or security issue is discovered in Windows 7 – these will not be fixed by Microsoft. If a new vulnerability or exploit is released – then you could be vulnerable if you continue to use Windows 7.
Will it stop working?
No – Windows 7 will continue to work perfectly well, BUT as each day passes, your PC will become more vulnerable – mainly if you use it for e-mail, internet access, etc.
What are my options?
Given the impending Windows 7 End of Life timescales – the recommended option is to upgrade to Windows 10. There are several ways to achieve that:
- Purchase Windows 10 and upgrade the operating system.
- Purchase Windows 10 and install the operating system from scratch.
- Purchase a new PC with Windows 10.
In all cases – you need to consider software and application compatibility with Windows 10. Some applications on Windows 7 may not work correctly on Windows 10.
Purchase Windows 10 and upgrade the operating system
Upgrading is the cheapest option (Windows 10 may be free or purchased from Amazon inexpensively). With an upgrade, you install Windows 10 over the top of Windows 7.
Before you do, you need to consider if your PC is capable of running the latest Windows 10 operating system. If your PC is from 2009-2014, then chances are your PC is probably struggling a little with modern applications. * It may work fine – but, before you rush to upgrade, check the Windows 10 systems requirements to see how it will perform. You may want to upgrade your CPU & RAM, or your Hard Drive to SSD. We can assist your business in considering the best options.
Purchase Windows 10 and install the operating system from scratch
As before, but instead of upgrading Windows 7 – you wipe all of your data and install Windows 10 from scratch. A fresh install has some performance benefits typically. However, – you still need to pay attention to the hardware capabilities/performance of your PC/laptop hardware.
Purchase a new PC with Windows 10
Given the age of Windows 7 and the hardware you are probably using, we would recommend purchasing a new PC/Laptop pre-installed with Windows 10. Replacing your PC with new hardware is by far the best option for any small business, and it means you benefit from having a secure, supported operating system – on modern equipment. Realistically, you will get 3-5 years of life from your new PC (probably more), and your productivity will increase (we cover the hidden costs of a Slow PC in this article).
A new desktop PC can cost as little as £350-400 and make a world of difference, particularly if you are running Windows 7 on a PC from 2010. That’s nine years ago!
I have dozens of Windows 7 PCs!!!
If you have lots of PCs running Windows 7, then you need to start planning and budgeting for an upgrade/investment. We can assist with that process. Our support teams install software, scan your network and automatically extract information such as the purchase date, hardware specification and warranty terms (unlikely given the age). Using this information, we can make recommendations relating to budgeting, upgrade options and possibly replacement hardware.
We offer free consultations to businesses who wish to understand their options post-Windows 7. Our IT Support team can assess your environment, and work with you to figure out a plan to replace, manage or upgrade your Windows 7 PCs.
(For enterprises or larger organisations, our managed services team can assist with a mass-upgrade project or additional resource, speak to our solutions team for more information. If Windows 7 is still required, beyond 2020 – then you need to consider enhancing your security. One method is to use an internal segmentation firewall and keep Windows 7 network assets isolated.).