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Windows 7 is dying - What it means, why you should care and what you need to do.

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The widely popular operating system, Windows 7 will lose support from Microsoft on January 14, 2020. For those who might not know, it’s a terrible idea to continue using an operating system without mainstream support. An end of support means you won’t receive any more updates or security fixes, making you vulnerable to cyber attacks.

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In a comprehensive report from the content delivery company Kollective, it was found that the cost of using an outdated operating system is astronomical. In 2014 when support for Windows XP ceased, the cost of supporting an organization with 10,000 or more Windows machines rose to about $2,000,000 per year. That’s millions of dollars just to stay with an outdated operating system that gets more and more ineffective with every passing day.

If you’re part of an organization still running Windows 7, the natural choice to make would be to update to the latest system, Windows 10. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly as simple as that.

Windows 10 is being called “the last Windows operating system” and is moving towards a “Windows as a service” model. This means regular large updates are going to replace the need to migrate to entire new operating systems every few years. While saved from that headache, this creates a new set of challenges. More updates mean more testing, more roll outs, and more opportunities for your system to fall out of date.

For many organizations, the regular installation of Windows updates is going to be a huge challenge and require reliable IT support for a couple of reasons.

First, due to the size and expected frequency of updates, IT teams are going to have less time for testing and distribution. Second, many organizations are working with outdated network infrastructure that won’t be able to handle distributing the updates efficiently.

When it comes to updating to Windows 10, organizations falling behind in technology really have two options.

They can ignore the distribution problem and simply accept that there will be significant delays between when patches are released and when they are actually installed. This is highly inadvisable. Not only does this postpone the inevitable, but it leaves a window open for cyberattacks.

The other option is to replace the entire network infrastructure and update it to modern requirements. The downside to this is that it can be very expensive and will cause significant downtime for large sections of the organization. In the long term, this would speed up the delivery and distribution of updates and minimize the risks of cyberattacks. While the initial cost of this process would be high, keep the $2,000,000 per year it cost to run Windows XP in mind.

The process of migrating from one operating system to another is enough to make anyone’s head spin. That’s why working with professional IT specialists that are qualified and equipped to guide you along the way is crucial. A professional can turn a relative nightmare into a relatively smooth transition, ensuring your software and network infrastructure are at the calibre required for modern computing.

Topics: data protection, IT solutions, IT technolgy, cyber security, managed IT services