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Windows 7 Support: The End Is Nigh

Dwills
50 years ago
Oct 16, 2019 Posted by: Dwills Uncategorised
Windows 7 Logo

Microsoft is only supporting Windows 7 until 14 January 2020. That’s less than three months away!

Is your technology is using Windows 7 as an operating system?

What happens when support is no longer available?

What action should you take?

“Microsoft has always been clear it doesn’t support versions of Windows indefinitely,” says Eric Hughes of EMH Technology. “We’ve seen support withdrawn for earlier versions, such as Windows XP and Windows Vista. From 14 January next year, Windows 7 will also lose Microsoft’s support.”

Although the system was launched 10 years ago, it is still extremely popular. Recent research suggests that Windows 7 is still being used on 36% of all PCs (April 2019). There are many users who therefore need to understand exactly what support withdrawal involves and what action they should take.

What does ‘no support’ mean?

Essentially, it means Microsoft will no longer update or support the operating system after 14 January 2020. This includes stopping the availability of security patches and technical assistance.

This doesn’t mean your computer will suddenly stop working; Windows 7 will continue to start and run. But you will no longer receive software updates, including security updates, from Microsoft. As a result, PCs that are still running the old operating system after the January deadline will be more vulnerable to viruses and other malware.

When Microsoft ends support for an operating system, other software and hardware companies tend to follow. They’ll stop supporting that older version of Windows too.

Windows 7 Security

If you use Windows 7, what should you do?

“We recommend that you don’t keep running Windows 7 on your computers as it simply isn’t secure,” says Eric. “The natural progression is to upgrade to Windows 10. If you choose to buy a new Windows machine, it is likely to have Windows 10 pre-installed.”

He adds: “Also, check if your business-specific software supports Windows 10 as it may need upgrading to a version that does.”

Windows 10 is a better option than the cheaper and older Windows 8. The latter system is moving towards the end of its supported life, plus it received negative feedback from users.

The minimum specification for Windows 10 is:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster.
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit OS or 2 GB for 64-bit OS.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
  • Display: 800 x 600 resolution
Window 10 logo

Good news for Office 365 users

If you subscribe to Office 365, you’ll be able update your Office software to be Windows 10 compatible without needing to buy new licenses.

Hardware is affected too

If you have older items of equipment, check if they have Windows 10 drivers. Without them your equipment may not work. (This could include printers or hardware attachments such as card readers, for example.) Eric explains: “It’s best to audit a machine first and see what software is used and what needs to function under Windows 10. In some situations you may need to maintain Windows 7 past January 2020, but you should restrict access to this machine where possible.”

He adds: “Whilst you are auditing your machines, it’s a good idea to replace or remove any lurking Windows XP machines! This protects you from viruses such as the one experienced by the NHS in 2018.”

Next steps

Do you need to upgrade your operating system or computers? The friendly experts at EMH Technology are happy to chat through your options and recommend a way forward to suit your organisation. Contact us without obligation… before 14 January 2020!

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