January 14, 2020 marks the end of a yet another era.
After a decade of hard labor, one of the most beloved Microsoft operating systems is about to retire. Microsoft has long declared the End of Life for Windows 7, but if you’re reading this, then you must still be under it’s influence. For consumers, upgrading an operating system is usually nothing more than an adjustment – like your favorite pair of boots, you know that one day, you’ll need to replace it. For some businesses, however, sometimes the socks just weren’t designed to fit the boot and upgrading will require the right planning and hopefully a skilled sock tailor. Unfortunately, I don’t think sock tailors are a real thing, but luckily we have the means and the expertise to handle that entire process for you.
The End of Life process is performed rather forcibly, as was with all of it’s ancestors, but this time with more than fair consideration. Microsoft started offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualifying Home and Pro editions a little over four years ago. That provided users with a pretty decent amount of time to begin that upgrade process. Now, after the predetermined date passes, your computer’s Windows 7 operating system will no longer receive technical support, security updates, patches or bug fixes. If you have not performed those upgrades yet, it’s pretty imperative that you take that time now, because you don’t have much time left.
The reason why it’s important is because the stories of hacks, bugs, adware, malware, and that ridiculously high price of ransomware paid these past few years were true. If you consider it, those all happened when the red team of hackers were trying to hack while the blue team of patchers were trying to patch. That’s a team jersey color reference, btw, and not of flags. After January 14, 2020, there will be no more blue team, and the red team will have full reign over the field. That’s bad news if you have sensitive or important files like family photos, tax documents, and that half completed novella that you’ve dedicated a good six years of your life to sitting on your desktop. We’ve said it in many posts before, but back up your data.
Now, what I said about no more blue team wasn’t entirely accurate. They’re just players you got for free for the past decade, and now they’re sitting on the bench waiting to be paid. You can opt to hire a blue player for 1 year of support at $50 directly from Microsoft. Keep in mind that his/her price doubles every year, and has a max contract term of 3 years. Unlike previous Operating Systems where certain businesses may or may not have qualified, this time around anyone who is willing to hire a team may do so. This cost might seem heavy to some, especially when you consider that you can purchase a new Windows 10 license and install it for less. Of course, some users might have an additional costs because you might as well take this time to get a solid state drive and more ram, but generally every computer running Windows 7 is sufficient to run Windows 10 – as the minimum system requirements listed by Microsoft are the same.
For businesses that are locked into using Windows 7 because of some software application compatibility, your options are to pay for the additional support per device and extend the inevitable for another three years, or to keep that computer off of both the internet and your internal network. Giving it access to either is not only throwing caution out the window, but through Window’s window as well. Yes, it’s that bad. You might not agree with me unless you’re a victim of ransomware without backups, or had to change all of your passwords due to some backdoor hack via a remote desktop service. You’re free to risk it, but a better option is to start planning for a proper migration. Upgrading to Windows 10 is worth it’s weight in gold plated contact fingers on a circuit board. From your network down to your computers and other devices, and from upgrading your software to designing and coding a complete overhaul – it’s time to take action, call Systech Consulting and we can get your systems updated and protected before before the deadline is up.