Microsoft has just ended Windows 7 Support and Security Updates. What does this mean for your business?

Support for Windows came to an end on January 14th, after 10 years. Microsoft stopped delivering security updates automatically, and many third-party vendors will drop support as well. 

What will happen exactly is that your computer will still function, but Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Software updates
  • Technical support 
  • Security fixes or updates

Most businesses completed their planning for migration to Windows 10 or are in the final stages of implementing that plan. Businesses need to understand what this end of support means and make plans to ensure a smooth transition to Windows 10. 

Microsoft has been nagging Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 for years now, yet a huge number of businesses have either resisted those calls or missed them. 

If that’s your case, you should be aware of the fact that systems using Windows 7 are now easy targets. So, it’s time to get serious and take action immediately. 

Your business can still use PCs running Windows 7, but without continued software and security updates, there is a greater risk for malware and viruses. Without patches, Windows 7 will in the future be vulnerable to bugs like the recently disclosed ‘wormable’ BlueKeep bug and several more that Microsoft patched in August.

What options do you have?

1. Change your PCs (recommended solution)

As always, the best way to stay secure is via hardware replacement. The digital license for Windows 10 associates itself with your device’s hardware. Before making a deployment, planning and executing it, be sure that there isn’t any compatibility issue that you need to address.

2. Pay for extended support

Since December 1st last year, small and medium-sized businesses have been able to purchase ESUs (extended security updates). If your business is not ready to get off Windows 7, will be able to get the ESUs for up to three years by purchasing them from a qualified Microsoft Partner. Millions of businesses are yet to upgrade, so purchasing ESU’s is an option if you are not yet ready to transition to Windows 10. 

Microsoft provides Windows 7 Professional or Windows & Enterprise ESU through their Cloud Solution Providers to businesses of any size. But Windows 7 ESU isn’t cheap, especially for if you are planning to use them for multiple PCs. They are more expensive for businesses using Windows Pro than Enterprise.

3. Upgrade your system, even though this is not recommended 

Systems designed for Windows 10 that were downgraded to Windows 7 can be in-place upgraded and be sure that has the most recent BIOS/UEFI firmware update. Any device that’s 5 years or more should be upgraded. If you keep the old devices, that were designed for Windows 10 and then downgraded to Windows 7 they can upgrade it.

You might be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free by going to Microsoft’s upgrade page from a Windows 7 PC, first spotted by ZDNet and The Verge. Before doing so, however, remember to back up all your important files and remember that not all Windows 7 apps may be compatible with Windows 10. But this isn’t the safest solution to go with. 

Xenex Systems is a Microsoft Silver Partner and can assist you by offering extended security updates plans or assist you in the transition to Windows 10, ensuring this is simple and hassle-free! Our team of IT engineers will recommend the best and most efficient solution suitable for your case. Contact us at (08) 6245 2800 or leave your details here.