One thing every company wants to do is stay ahead of the curve, but many companies hold onto equipment until the very last minute as devices and software cycle out and become obsolete. This causes devaluation in their technology assets. We witnessed it when Vista was no longer supported; browsing the internet became a struggle as more and more updates passed and the unsupported operating system was neglected. This is the future for the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft has been warning us for several years and reiterates the warning on their website, stating:
“All good things must come to an end, even Windows 7. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. But you can keep the good times rolling by moving to Windows 10.”
Microsoft urged people to upgrade during their free upgrade period which ended July 29, 2016. What does it mean for Windows 7 to lose support from Microsoft? Microsoft warns that “it will be more vulnerable to security risks and viruses due to the lack of security updates.” All developers use the background framework of Windows to create end-user software such as Firefox, Chrome, and other software that we take advantage of every day. Applications will become out of date and stop working as the demand for developers will be to remain current. Windows 7 will not receive any critical updates and it will be a matter of time before the applications simply stop working. Furthermore, security risk will increase as Windows 7 gets neglected for the latest security patches and fixes which work behind the scenes to help keep computers less vulnerable.
Can you just upgrade your operating system to Windows 10? Microsoft states that “To take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities, we recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 10.” Let me help you decipher this well-worded sentence: software will be outdated, Microsoft will be be ensuring that their product is most compatible with the newest hardware, and older hardware will not share the same capability. In essence, the computer will be slower and less optimized if you attempt to run Windows 10 on older hardware. In addition, it is no longer a free upgrade, which means big dollars to bring your systems current.
How long before support ends?
We have about 5 months until the big day (January 14, 2020). As the equipment gets older and becomes unsupported, the market value will drastically decrease; therefore, the recommendation is to refresh now and monetize the equipment while it still fetches a fair price.
What are the risks?
Some of us might remember WannaCry ransomware that affected millions of users worldwide. WannaCry took advantage of a security hole in older unsupported operating systems. FirstPost.com tells us about it, “During the WannaCry ransomware attacks, Microsoft faced criticism for not providing free custom support for critical vulnerabilities affecting older operating systems. Microsoft eventually rolled out a free patch for all operating systems with vulnerabilities that could be exploited by the Ransomware, but the damage was already done.” Microsoft eventually patched the unsupported operating systems (which was contrary to their support agreement), but it was not before millions of users were affected. Refreshing your technology equipment before the support expires will also ensure that your company is not going to be at risk with an unsupported operating system and vulnerabilities for which the cost cannot be easily calculated.