Windows 7 is nearing end of life yet is still in use by almost half of businesses. Many organizations have yet to develop a strategy to migrate to Windows 10 and some are not even aware of the impending deadline. Read on to learn more about preparing for Windows 7 end of life and scroll to see our infographic with key information about the countdown.

windows 7 end of life

Mainstream support of Windows 7, in which Microsoft provided security patches and new features, ended on January 13, 2015. Windows 7 moved into extended support at that time, ending complimentary support and active development of the product. During extended support bug fixes and patches are still deployed to ensure the safety of the operating system; however, the product is being phased out. Once the extended support ends on January 14, 2020 the outdated system will be unsupported and a risk for any machine that runs it.

For companies using Windows 10 Enterprise or Education that do not complete their migration to Windows 10 by 2020, Microsoft has announced that it will offer Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) through January 2023. The ESUs will be sold on a per-device basis (with the price increasing each year) and provide a short extension during which organization could continue to use Windows 7 as they complete migrations. We strongly recommend that businesses purchase ESUs if they need to continue using Windows 7 past January 14, 2020 in order to protect machines from threats.

windows usersThe end of life for a software product can be a significant challenge for many organizations. When support ended for the popular Windows XP, 40% of the world’s computers were still using it. For many businesses it took 3+ years to transition from Windows XP to Windows 7. Although Microsoft has streamlined the upgrade process, similar migration timelines are expected for Windows 10, which puts the 2020 deadline into perspective.  If businesses do not begin planning for migration soon we may see similar rates of non-adoption. In this age of constant malware and cyber-attacks that would pose a major security threat for businesses as unpatched software leaves systems extremely vulnerable.

Currently 39% of Windows users run Windows 7, while 46% are running Windows 10. This is an improvement over figures at the beginning of 2018 that showed 42% on Windows 7 and 34% on Windows 10. Because of the security risk posed by unsupported operating systems, it is imperative that businesses are proactive. Migration to Windows 10 takes time and careful planning is key to make sure that there is minimal disruption to business processes.

what’s next?

Navigating end of life deadlines can be difficult, especially for businesses. Updating and upgrading computers is expensive and time consuming, particularly when legacy systems or software rely on them. While some computers can be upgraded, others may not have the system requirements needed to run Windows 10. However, there is a bright side to this upgrade…

For more than a decade, the support lifecycle for each new version of Windows or Office was 10 years, with mainstream support for five years and extended support for another five years. That 10-year support lifecycle is rapidly fading away, as Microsoft moves to its “Windows as a Service” and Office 365 subscription models. From this point forward, businesses using Windows 10 will remain current, with the latest fixes and updates being deployed behind the scenes. Businesses will no longer need to worry about upgrading to a new OS or any interruptions to their business systems. Your migration to Windows 10 is the last operating system update you will need to complete.

How to Prepare

If your business is still using Windows 7, we recommend beginning to plan for the move to Windows 10 now. Examining your organization’s current infrastructure and identifying what you will need to update will help you create a roadmap for a smooth transition. The sooner you begin this process the more strategic you can be in terms of budgeting and project management.

A smooth and successful transition to Windows 10 requires you to:

  • Identify machines that need upgrading or replacing
  • Identify and consider replacing legacy systems that use any Microsoft OS older than Windows 10
  • Determine if you have Windows 7 machines that cannot be upgraded or removed and implement security controls to separate them from critical network systems
  • Check that specialized or proprietary applications are adapted for Windows 10
  • Ensure peripherals such as printers are compatible
  • Develop a timeline and budget for upgrades and replacements
  • Complete your Windows 10 migration
  • Conduct employee training to learn the new system

ImagIT can assist you with planning, scheduling, and completing the transition to Windows 10. With our expert team at your side you can be confident that your new technology will be carefully implemented with minimal disruption. Contact us to get started!

ImagIT Solutions is a network engineering company that provides comprehensive IT services for channel partners, managed service providers and enterprise businesses with multiple locations. ImagIT was founded with the goal of providing comprehensive, IT services for multi-site organizations. Built on providing exceptional customer service with the most trusted technicians in the field, we continue to grow with our clients and expand internationally. Our team of 400 expert engineers and full PMO are ready to take on any type of networking engagement!  Whether its proactive support, an emergency call, long-term projects or ongoing break-fix services, ImagIT will deliver a solution that is customized to best fit your organization.