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September 6, 2019 Chris Friday

Are you a Windows 7 user? If so, read on.

The end of Windows 7 mainstream support is upon us. Microsoft is ending mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020.

What does this mean for you?
This means that, after the EOL date, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7.

Why is this happening?
This is part of the Windows product life cycle— Windows 7 was originally released in 2009 and is now approaching end of life.

What will happen next?
Can you still use your existing Windows 7-powered PC after January 14, 2020? Yes. But Microsoft will cease providing technical support, software updates or security fixes.

This poses a safety and security risk because as a Windows 7 user, you are, essentially, on your own. Without patches, your online data is vulnerable to security threats, malware and malicious elements which may target unprotected Windows 7 users.

If you are worried about migrating and are not yet ready upgrade before the EOL deadline, Microsoft will offer paid extended support for volume licensing or business customers that will provide security updates for the next three years (until 2023).

Available to Professional or Enterprise Windows 7 users, the cost is calculated per device and significantly increases each year. For Windows 7 Professional, the starting cost is approximately $50 per device for the first year, $100 for the second year and $200 for the third year. For Enterprise, pricing starts at $25 per device for Year 1, then $50 and on the third and final year, $100.

With extended support, you can continue to use Windows 7 safely but think of it as a transition phase for the inevitable—upgrading to Windows 10. While you still get security support during this phase, do not expect any new features for your current operating system.

With the looming EOL for Windows 7, third-party companies have already started to phase out their support, albeit gradually. For example, you cannot run Windows 7 on current PC hardware. So even if you do get extended support, there is still an urgency required in upgrading to the latest Windows 10 release.

Is it worth paying for extended support?

It largely depends on your existing IT infrastructure and apps and how reliant it is on Windows 7. Cost is another major factor. Microsoft’s extended support does not come cheap and is designed to encourage upgrades to Windows 10.

According to recent statistics, Window 7’s market share “fell roughly 3.6% in July” and this is a significant sign that users are starting to move away.

Should you also start upgrading to Windows 10 now? How will a Windows 10 upgrade affect your data’s security? Will you need new hardware and re-training for staff? What other options do you have?

Olikka can help you answer these questions and more. Get in touch so we can discuss a tailor-fit and cost-effective solution on how to move forward without disrupting your IT systems and your organisation’s operations.