In 2019, Help Net Security found out that 43% of businesses were still running Windows 7.
If your business is among them, it’s high time to prepare for Windows 7 end of life. From January 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide support for this system. As popular as it was, Windows 7 always had a limited lifespan.
Not sure why it’s time to move on? Here’s a quick guide to help you out.
What It Means
First things first: why is the end of Windows 7 support such a big deal?
For starters, there’s the matter of security. Once Jan. 14 rolls around, PCs running Windows 7 will face higher exposure to security risks. These include viruses, corruption, data loss, cyber-attacks, and so on.
Also, your business may be subject to regulatory compliance such as GDPR, PCI, or HIPAA. In this case, if you continue to use an unsupported operating system, your business won’t pass its yearly audits.
The Two Options
The best way to protect your IT infrastructure is to migrate to Windows 10 by the Jan. 14 deadline. You have two viable options at your disposal.
1. Upgrade to Windows 10
Are most of your business laptops and computers less than three years old? If so, your best bet is a simple upgrade to Windows 10. This won’t take a long time and allows you to keep your existing files and software.
The upgrade costs depend on whether your PCs have Windows 10 pre-loaded. If they do, you only need to buy the installation file ($120-$200 per machine). If you need to buy the license as well, you may end up spending a lot more.
Once you add the license costs into the mix, the age of your existing PCs becomes a key factor. The older a computer gets, the closer it is to the end of its life. If you’ll have to replace it soon, it may not be wise to invest in it.
2. Purchasing New PCs
Your other option is to buy PCs that come with Windows 10 installed. This is the more expensive route, as well as the more time-consuming one. Researching new PCs, transferring the files, and setting everything up can take a while.
That said, this may be the right move for two types of businesses:
• Businesses with computers that are more than three years old
• Businesses with computers that don’t have the Windows 10 OEM license
As mentioned above, the Windows 10 license and software can be steep. In these situations, businesses should look at each individual PC. If most of them don’t have licenses or are older than three years, getting new PCs makes sense.
Of course, keeping PCs that are older than three years is also a valid option. That said, keep in mind that these will keep slowing down over time. Plus, they may not be completely compatible with Windows 10.
More on Windows 7 End of Life
As you can see, you shouldn’t take the Windows 7 end of life deadline lightly. If your business has an in-house IT department, they should already be on top of it. If you have a managed service provider, check in with them.
Want to know more about the security issues that Windows 10 can protect you from? Worried that your business isn’t safe from cyber-attacks? We can help you out — contact us right here, and we’ll get back to you!