Windows 7 End of Life means no more bug-fixes, security patches or new functionality, making any user—personal or enterprise—significantly more susceptible to malware attacks. And while there's absolutely nothing stopping you from using Windows 7 even after its End of Life, you should know that using an outdated operating system makes your computer vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Windows 7 is a decade old at this point, launching on July 22, 2009. However, it remains incredibly popular. Recent reports from Netmarketshare suggest that Windows 7 is still being used on 39% of all PCs. So, the news that Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft means there are many users out there who need to start thinking about finally moving on from their favorite operating system. If a large number of people continue to use Windows 7 after the End of Life date, that could be a big incentive for malicious users to target viruses and other nasties at Windows 7.
Microsoft actually ended mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015, which meant new features stopped being added, and warranty claims were no longer valid. However, during the extended support phase, which Windows 7 entered after the end of its mainstream support, the operating system has still been patched and updated to make sure security issues and bugs are fixed. When Windows 7 enters its End of Life phase, this support will end as well.
After awhile, it doesn’t make sense from a financial point of view or in terms of time and effort, to keep old software patched and updated, especially when there are newer versions of the software out there.
The reasons behind the slow updating process for Windows 7 PCs vary depending on the software in place, which may be unable to run on the newest OS versions, or depending upon the Windows 10 minimum hardware requirements.
Here are the minimum specifications for Windows 10:
•Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
•RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
•Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
•Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
•Display: 800 x 600 resolution
If your Windows 7 machine doesn't meet these specifications you won’t be able to run Windows 10 – and even if your machine just meets the requirements, Windows 10 won’t run that well.
The longer your company waits with updating their systems, the bigger the risk becomes of a potentially costly attack.
PLAN WITH AN EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT SCHEDULE!
As a more efficient and secure way to manage hardware replacement, having a hardware replacement schedule allows you to plan and budget accordingly. A general rule of thumb is to replace laptops, PC's, servers and network equipment every 3-5 years. By adopting a more strategic approach to technology replacement you can avoid possible security breaches, costly repairs, unnecessary downtime, and unexpected expenses. Plus you'll have happy end-users.
For more information on how to make sure your business is ready to handle the end of Windows 7 life, contact the team at ProActive Information Management today! We can help your business enter the new year on the right track!