Happy New Year to all. We hope everyone back back to work rested and ready for the challenges this year will bring. First and foremost, let’s talk Windows 7. This Operating System from Microsoft goes into End of Life on January 14, 2020. This means that this Operating System will not receive essential updates, including Security.
In the Enterprise world, Microsoft have been shouting from the hilltops about this deadline for over two years, strongly suggesting that you plan an upgrade or replacement to Windows 10 (please, skip Windows 8!).
Enterprise users that have Microsoft Enterprise Agreements (Volume Licensing) have the ability to enroll Windows 7 devices into the Extended Security Updates (ESU) programme. This is a per-device cost, per year, available for only the next three years. The cost increases drastically each of those years (looks to be $25, $50 and $100 for year one, two and three).
For business without Enterprise agreements, or for consumers, the options are:
- Upgrade to Windows 10
- Get a new device with Windows 10 included
- Take no action and stay on Windows 7
In order, many people are reporting that the free upgrade path to Windows 10, available three years ago, still works. Windows 7 and 8 users will have been bugged over and over to upgrade. Head to the control panel and following the instructions to upgrade. Alternatively, there are some semi-technical steps to carry out to download the Windows 10 Upgrade Tool (https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows10). As with any upgrade, ensure your files are backed up first, just in case.
Get a new device is the easiest, but most expensive and time consuming option. You will have benefits such as a performance improvement with the new hardware, but you will need to transfer your files and re-install any software and settings.
The final option is not really an option at all, but there will still be plenty of people that this will apply to. With any Operating System version that goes End of Life, usually some nasty exploits or hacks are deployed to the world the day after; when the manufacturer is under no obligation to patch or fix the issue.
For everyone, ensure you have moved away from Windows 7 as soon as possible.