The countdown has begun. Windows 7, the once ubiquitous operating system, will become obsolete in January 2020. This legacy OS has been beloved by many industries since its July 2009 release. The good news is your business has about two years to prepare for the WIN7 end of life and the subsequent Windows 10 (WIN10) Update. Here’s what to expect from the transition and how your business can get ahead of it.
Three Important Issues to Consider for Adopting Windows 10
You’re not alone. About half of all enterprise computers use Windows 7. As a result, many companies have resisted this changeover, clinging to the idea that they can keep patching the user-friendly operating system until the very bitter end. Unfortunately, this OS phase-out presents three truly insurmountable challenges.
1. WIN7 Will No Longer Be Supported.
Typically, operating systems experience two periods of support. The first period, known as mainstream support, is highly responsive. The software company actively listens to users’ complaints about the operating system, and it releases new features and patches that address those problems. Mainstream support ended for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015.
The second period, known as extended support, is comparatively static. The software company will update its product but isn’t creating patches or features to address user issues. Extended support for Windows 7 will end on January 14, 2020. This lack of support puts Windows 7 users at significant risk for cyber breaches, crashes, and other potentially unfixable and expensive problems.
If a business wishes to avoid these risks, it will come at a cost. Microsoft recently announced that it will start charging a monthly fee to customers who still use Windows 7 after January 14th, 2020, if they want to keep their computers safe. Additionally, Microsoft also stated that the cost of this will increase every year until 2023 when the paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) end.
Microsoft recently announced that it will start charging a monthly fee to customers who still use Windows 7 after January 14th, 2020, if they want to keep their computers safe.
2. Newer Processors Only Support WIN10.
Microsoft inserted an update detection system into Windows 7 that effectively blocks some older generation processors from getting updates to the OS.
If you aren’t sure if your older processor makes the cut, check out Microsoft’s Lifecycle FAQ. It outlines which processors will continue to be supported on each Windows operating system. Expect this list to be eye-opening. Almost all newer processors won’t be supported on Windows 7 in any capacity.
What’s even more eye-opening is what didn’t make the list. Reports have come in that other processors not featured in the Lifecycle FAQ also aren’t being supported on Windows 7. That includes many seventh generation processor chips, such as Intel’s 7th Gen Intel Core and AMD’s 7th generation processors, which will only be supported on Windows 10.
3. Older Processors Won’t Get WIN10 Updates.
Are you working with any PC hardware that’s more than three or four years old? There is a very good chance that it will not be compatible with Windows 10 for very long.
Even if your PC successfully updated Windows 10 in 2015 and 2016, the new best-in-class operating system will block future updates. Your computer will get an error message, and you’ll only be able to work on the latest available version of Window 10, version 1607, released in the summer of 2016.
That version will stop receiving updates in January 2018. Microsoft has recently claimed it will offer security patches and other basic, security-related updates to PC users with processors from 2013 and 2014 who are running version 1607 until 2023.
However, if you’re currently running the less-than-popular Windows 8 or the slightly more popular Windows 8.1 on an older processor, it’s critical to ensure your PC is supported for Windows 10. If it isn't, then you may have to purchase a new processor. Your PC isn’t designed for the new operating system, and it will get buggy very quickly.
If you’re currently running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 on an older processor, it’s critical to ensure your PC is supported for Windows 10.
In Conclusion: A Quick Recap
Don’t avoid the inevitable. Be proactive about the transition to Windows 10, and get started as soon as possible. In two years, Windows 7 will become a thing of the past. Microsoft will discontinue its extended support in January 2020. Your continued use of the operating system could put your computer and your company at risk.
Moreover, as Microsoft phases out Windows 7, new processors won’t be able to run the now antiquated operating system. Even seventh generation processing chips won’t be supported after the Windows 7 end of life.
Arguably more challenging to deal with, older processors--some only three or four years old--won’t be compatible with the new Windows 10. Microsoft will provide limited updates to PC users navigating this fundamental incompatibility, but ultimately older hardware won’t run this new operating system without producing bugs and other security issues.
Do your company's computers need a Windows 10 upgrade? Find out how we can help by calling us at 1-888-287-4186, emailing us at email@example.com, or learning more about WIN10 updates for businesses.