What Does The Sunset Of Windows 7 Mean For Your Business? (Questions/Answers)

Business owners are still using Windows 7 after all these years. It has been one of the most successful operating systems ever developed by Microsoft. When Windows 8 came out and disappointed so many users, people just went back to Windows 7 and have kept using it to this day. But now Microsoft says that all support for this OS will end in less than one year. If your company is still using Windows 7, you need to start preparing for the inevitable upgrade.

Beginning in April, if you are a Windows 7 customer, you can expect to see a notification on your Windows 7 PC. This is a courtesy reminder that you will receive from Microsoft a few times during 2019.

By starting the reminders now, Microsoft’s hope is that you have time to plan and prepare for this transition. These notifications are designed to help provide information only. If you prefer not to receive them again, you’ll be able to select an option for “do not notify me again,” and Microsoft won’t send you any further reminders. Just as software has changed over the years, so has hardware. To learn more about the latest line-up of modern PCs and information for moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10, just click on the “learn more” button on the notification.

Why Should You Upgrade To The Latest Operating System?

January 2020 will be the end of the line for Windows 7. Microsoft will no longer support this product with security updates and bug fixes. As we near the End of Life for this OS, it’s important to begin planning for the change. If you and your employees have relied on this product for years, then it may be difficult to make the switch, but it would be detrimental to your company to continue using an operating system that no longer gets regular updates.

At the End of Life, users will no longer be able to enjoy all the features and security that Windows 7 was so famous for. You will begin to experience problems that can’t be resolved. If you call for IT support, it will cost more because the product is no longer supported by its manufacturer.

There are lots of issues to watch for including:

  • Software, utilities, and features may become incompatible.
  • New devices like printers will have trouble connecting with Windows 7.
  • Online banking transaction systems may expire if their authentication and encryption methods cannot be supported by Windows 7.
  • Antivirus won’t be updated, and third-party virus protection software will eventually stop supporting Windows 7.
  • Software bug fixes will no longer be patched, leaving the system open to exploitation.

What Other Security Problems Will You Face With Windows 7?

The most serious issues involve cybersecurity. Hackers already know that Windows 7 has become vulnerable and they will seek out ways to exploit those weaknesses. This will leave your system susceptible to ransomware, malware, and viruses. The probability of suffering from a cyber attack that renders your computers unusable will continue to increase with time. All your data could be at risk.

What Are Your Options?

Microsoft consistently works to make Windows 10 better. They obviously learned their lesson with Windows 8 and haven’t made such a blunder since then. Most users say they love Windows 10 and would recommend it. It has built-in security features that are much more effective than anything they’ve provided in the past. But it’s important to start migrating to the new operating system now.

As the time approaches for Windows 7 End of Life, those who wait until the last minute may find it hard to get the help that they need to migrate all their files and documents over to a new system. There’s usually a rush period when managed IT service companies are working day and night to help those companies that wait until the last minute. That’s why experts recommend not waiting.

Naturally, your staff will need some time to get trained on the new operating system. For all those who have used Microsoft products over the years, it won’t be as difficult, but there are always Mac users and people without good computer skills who will need training.

What’s Involved In The Migration Process?

Before migrating, perform an inventory of software and group each application into one of three groups: unwanted, optional, or required. Some software may require an upgrade to run on a newer operating system. Next, prepare a similar inventory of hardware. As with the software, some hardware may need to be updated or replaced to remain compatible with the new operating system. Also, check the requirements of the replacement operating system, paying special attention to available hard drive space, physical memory, and processor needs.

If you’re using older computers, many experts recommend purchasing new computers that come preinstalled with Windows 10. Of course, you’ll still have to move all of your files and apps over, but newer computers with Windows 10 will perform much better. Investing in better technology for your business is usually a great idea.

What’s The Bottom Line?

With the sunset of Windows 7 now on the horizon, it’s important to begin migrating over to Windows 10 right away. Failure to upgrade will lead to serious issues with performance, compatibility and security. The security risks alone could put all your data in danger from hackers.

Outsource IT Solutions Group can help you migrate all your files and documents over to the new operating system. If you need recommendations about the best Microsoft Office programs for your business, we can go over your options and offer some good sound advice.

We offer a wide range of great managed IT services to businesses in and around Chicago. From 24/7 Remote Monitoring and Management to a robust Business Continuity Plan, we’ve got you covered. Contact us and we’ll be happy to visit your office and explain more.