End of Life in Less Than 6 Months!

10/4/2019 - By Bob Woock, MCSE

To be clear it is the end of life for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  So business leaders need to understand that in the near future the continued use of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will put their business at risk.

WHAT IS THE RISK?

If you have not already heard it, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 will no longer receive support or any updates or patches as of January 14th, 2020. This was published by Microsoft under the title End of Life.

CYBERSECURITY REAL WORLD EXAMPLE 

If you are considering using Windows 7 past the January 2020 end date, consider this:

Earlier this year, the city of Baltimore was hacked by an anonymous group. The city had computers running systems that were able to receive critical and security updates, but they were not applying them regularly. What is even worse, the vulnerability used to hack their computers had been patched 2 years ago by Microsoft. It spread quickly through its network and the cost of this hack is now estimated at 18 million dollars.

STILL HAVE WINDOWS 7? DON’T UPGRADE, BUY NEW

Windows 7 was a good operating system, but now it is time to move on. The improvements in performance and security will make your move to Windows 10 worth the time and effort. There are two options if your company has Windows 7 computers. Upgrade the current computer to Windows 10 or replace the entire computer. Here are the reasons why you should replace your PC or server:

WARRANTY – You can’t go wrong with a new computer that will have a 3-year warranty.  

FASTER AND BETTER – Many newer systems come with Solid State Drives (SSD). SSD provides an instant-on boot up that is much faster than computers with the older, spindle based hard drives.  You can add a new SSD while upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 which will make your computer run better.  But you will still have old Memory (not to be confused with drive storage) and an older processor that will not provide the performance of a new computer.

ROI – The labor involved in upgrading older computers to Windows 10 and the labor to set up a new computer with Windows 10 is often the same cost. It is probably not worth spending the money on labor to upgrade a PC that is 4 or more years old.

SERVERS RUN OUR WORLD – The above options apply to server hardware as well. In fact, anyone using Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 will likely have hardware that is more than 5 years old.  I think we all agree that Servers are mission-critical to keep our company and employees productive. So, don’t upgrade old hardware with a new server operating system. Buy new and have the peace of mind that your server will have the latest components providing the best reliability, security, and performance

MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE

Successful business leaders need to use software that can receive critical updates that are scheduled and monitored to ensure security. It is a best practice to create multiple layers of security and patching software regularly is one of the first layers of that security.

Times have changed and the ability to break into computer systems has exponentially increased. Avoid the unnecessary risk and do not push the use of a Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2 past January 2020.

Don’t let Windows 7 end of life end your business

About the Author | Bob Woock, MCSE
Bob is a manager in the Information Technology Services Department of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund.  His company merged with Saltmarsh in May 2017, providing enhanced IT support and expertise to clients in our growing Central Florida operations. Bob’s primary areas of experience include providing IT support for medium and small businesses across various industries such as manufacturing, accounting, and healthcare.


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