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Support for Windows 7 Ends on Jan. 15: Do You Know Your Options?

by Erik Briceno

By now, you should have already moved away from Windows 7. A lot of people haven’t. For some, it’s for personal reasons. For many businesses, it’s for several reasons — productivity interruptions during the transition and/or a reliance on old architecture, to name a few.

The fact of the matter is, whether we like it or not, Windows 7 is officially being put out to pasture in January of 2020. That means making some important decisions — and we mean right now. You absolutely don’t have to go it alone, however. V2 Systems is here to help you fully prepare your business for the transition and help with the process.

Here are some key things to know.

Windows 7 Won’t Suddenly Stop Working in January, BUT …

It’s true. Your employees aren’t going to suddenly discover that they’ll no longer be able to use their computers. There won’t be a giant Microsoft-shaped lock on your machine that prevents you from opening Excel spreadsheets and browsers. However, what this means is, if you continue to use Windows 7 past the Jan. 15 deadline, you will have absolutely no more updates from Microsoft. Nada. Zilch. And that means no security to speak of, as millions of new strains of malware and ransomware are literally discovered every single day.

System downtime — particularly downtime caused by cybersecurity issues — costs money. On average, just one breached record costs small to mid-size businesses $148 (per record), along with 69 days’ worth of system downtime. There’s also work efficiency to consider. If your operating system is constantly crashing because it’s no longer supported, then overall productivity is going to drop — significantly.

What Options Are Available for Businesses After Windows 7 End of Life?

There are a few options a business can take.

Option 1:  Upgrade to Windows 10

The most obvious choice, (which is in fact what we here at V2 Systems wholeheartedly recommend), is to simply replace the system altogether with Windows 10 machines. Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 has a number of benefits. For a start, because both operating systems are made by Microsoft, the upgrade process is relatively easy, and in many cases, you can keep your files. This also means you’ll experience a minimum amount of disruption when upgrading. Most programs you use will have been updated to work on Windows 10 as well, and the layout and interface are similar to Windows 7, so you shouldn’t find it too hard to adjust.

Option 2:  Pay for Extended Security Updates

For businesses that need more time before upgrading, Microsoft will sell Extended Security Updates. In other words, Microsoft will continue creating security updates, but you can only get them if you pay up. These are only designed as a stopgap of sorts, and the updates will get more expensive every year. Microsoft wants businesses, governments and other organizations to move to a modern version of Windows, and they’re hoping the financial cost will encourage that to happen. Long story short, this isn’t a long-term solution, and it’s not one that we can fully recommend.

Option 3:  There’s Always Linux

There’s more than just Microsoft out there in terms of operating systems. Linux is an open-source OS that’s completely free to use. It’s also regularly updated by a community of enthusiastic developers, so you can use it safe in the knowledge that it has new security patches applied to protect you from the latest threats. The biggest downside would be that it could be a very unfamiliar landscape for you or your staff if you’ve never worked with anything other than Windows before. There are also numerous compatibility and file formatting issues to consider.

Option 4:  Macintosh Is Still a Thing

Support for Windows 7 Ends on Jan. 15: Do You Know Your Options?Yes, Apple does indeed offer business solutions and is still a fairly strong option. It’s quite friendly to use — comparatively so to Windows — and offers very strong security. One of your biggest obstacles, once again, will likely be file format and structure. While many programs that you can use in Windows are now available for Mac these days, you may need to buy them again. Not only that, Apple products are notoriously expensive. A Mac computer may age somewhat better than a Windows PC, but you can expect to pay a lot more for them.

Not sure which product solution is right for you? Call us and we can help you work out the best option for your business structure. In our next blog, we’ll take a closer look at what sort of preparations your company should make once you’ve made that all-important decision.

 

Since 1995, Manassas Park, VA-based V2 Systems has employed local systems administrators, network engineers, security consultants, help desk technicians and partnering companies to meet a wide range of clients’ IT needs, from research, to implementation, to maintenance. Concentrate on your VISION…We’ll handle the TECHNOLOGY!

ebriceno
About ebriceno
Erik Briceño is the owner of V2 Systems, Inc., one of Northern Virginia’s leading Information Technology Managed Service Providers. He is an inspiring leader for its employees and instrumental business partner for its customers. He is passionate about V2’s purpose, dedicated to exceeding expectations and a consummate professional not afraid of jumping in and getting his hands dirty. Prior to joining V2 Systems in 2002, Erik was a co-founder and COO of Ampcast.com, a leading provider of online resources servicing over 5,000 independent musical artists. At Ampcast.com, Erik spearheaded all aspects of corporate development, funding, strategic vision, and business development for the firm. From 1997 to 1999 Erik held the position of Acoustic Systems Engineer for Electric Boat Corporation, a leading defense contractor. In this role, Erik was responsible for the acoustic fidelity of two noise critical systems and components in the US Navy’s nuclear submarine systems. Erik holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Business Administration from George Mason University. When not working, you will find Erik a dedicated family man, raising two young children with his lovely wife Karen. Together, they enjoy building legos, playing baseball, skiing, riding horses, swimming, traveling, and fixing up old Mopars.
Support for Windows 7 Ends on Jan. 15: Do You Know Your Options?
Support for Windows 7 Ends on Jan. 15: Do You Know Your Options?