Microsoft has announced the date for Windows 7 End of Life: January 14, 2020.
This means Microsoft will no longer update or support the operating system after that date.
While Windows 7 is now several years old – it launched on July 22, 2009 – it still remains incredibly popular, with a recent report by Netmarketshare suggesting that Windows 7 is still in use on 39% of PCs. Many businesses are still running Windows 7, and therefore need to start thinking about finally moving on from the trusted operating system.
The biggest issue with continuing to use Windows 7 is that it won't be patched for any new viruses or security problems once it enters End of Life, and this leaves you extremely vulnerable to any emerging threats. Also, if a large number of people continue to use Windows 7 after the End of Life date, that could actually be a big incentive for malicious users to target viruses and other malware at Windows 7.
Many people can remember back when Windows XP went through the same End of Life scenario, and you probably think, that wasn't so bad. But the threat landscape has changed so much since 2014 that its a new ball game today. The emergence of ransomware has really changed the way businesses approach their IT security strategy. In 2014 as long as you had an Anti-Virus package and updated signatures, you were OK. Today, layered security is required, and next-gen cloud based protection is a must.
Businesses need to work closely with their IT provider to ensure they have a plan in place to remove any Windows 7 devices from their networks before the End of Life date. If you have PC's older than 3 years running Windows 7, then its a no brainer, that PC should be replaced with a new PC running Windows 10. If your PC is less than 3 years old and runs Windows 7 then that PC can be upgraded to Windows 10.
If your IT provider has a vCIO service then this the perfect way to sit down and discuss the strategy and budget for the move away from Windows 7. Importantly, the End of Life also applies to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. If you are running these server operating systems then now is a great time to contact your vCIO and discuss a replacement server or a move to the cloud.
Microsoft Windows 7 End of Life Official Page