Last month, we passed a milestone: less than one year left until the end of Windows 7. As of January 14, 2020, the legacy operating system will no longer receive extended support or software updates from Microsoft, meaning any machine still running it past that date will be susceptible to security vulnerabilities. If you are still runnning Windows 7, read below to see if it time for you to update.

What does “End of Extended Support” mean?  First, end of extended support does not mean that Windows 7 will stop working, but critically, end of support does mean that Microsoft will stop developing the product and there will be no further security updates.

How many people are still using Windows 7? The number may surprise you, especially since mainstream support for Windows 7 ended in 2015. As of December 2018, Windows 7’s user share was still 42.8% of all Windows PC, with Windows 10 accounting for 45.5%. Even more shocking, that was the first month since its release three years ago that more computers were running on Windows 10 than its predecessor, Windows 7.

How easy is it to upgrade to Windows 10?  That depends on the age of your desktop or laptop computer, and the components inside. TechMedX recommends a desktop PC’s be replaced every 5 years; with the cost of the upgraded Windows 10 license and professional services associated with the upgrade process, this might be the best time to perform a refresh of older machines.

What will happen if we don’t upgrade our systems? When Microsoft ended support for its popular Windows XP operating system in 2014, it affected 40% of the world’s estimated one billion computers. But change arrived slowly, even with a long rollout and multiple security announcements. Five years later, around 5% of the world’s computers still use Windows XP, even though several ransomware attacks (most notably WannaCry) have targeted legacy systems still running XP. As hackers realize how many potential cybercrime victims are still running Windows 7 beyond January 14, 2020, they’re sure to turn their attention in that direction.

Sticking with Windows 7 after that date means your system will be extremely vulnerable to malware and viruses, as well as technical bugs.  We do not recommend that you leave yourself and your files in this vulnerable position.

Good news to keep in mind: when Microsoft introduced Windows 10, Microsoft adopted a new policy for the sustainability of their products, a model known as Windows as a Service (WaaS). It incorporates continuous updates and support for current product offerings, like Windows 10.

This policy will be a boon for businesses that are using Windows 10 since you’ll be able to remain up-to-date with the latest fixes and updates, without the need to upgrade to a new operating system. WaaS ensures a smooth transition between iterations of a single operating system, so even if Windows 10 looks completely different years from now, incremental updates will happen behind the scenes without a major disturbance.

If you are still using Windows 7, the time is now to begin planning for its end of life date. TechMedX can assist you thorough the transition. We can help you implement a number of solutions that will enable a smooth transition to a more modern operating system. Contact us to get started!

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