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  • Writer's pictureStan Patey

Time's Running Out 4 Windows 7

Hourglass with blue sand sitting on corner of paper calendar

It’s been nearly five years since Microsoft stopped selling retail versions of the Windows 7 operating system. Mainstream support ended in January of 2015 for the W7 and the Windows Server 2008 operating systems. The end to “Extended Support” for both arrives on January 14, 2020. Once reached, Microsoft will no longer provide automatic fixes, patches and updates, or online technical support.

The operating system will cease to be secure, and the bad guy hackers will target it for attack as low hanging fruit. Other software vendors will use Microsoft’s end of support date to withdraw support for their products as well. Companies that fail to upgrade will be positioning themselves for a growing array of issues with no support available.

The time is now to map out plans and initiate migrations to Windows 10 for your PC’s and Server 2016 for server hardware. This may catch many by surprise as Windows 7 still holds a 43% market share over Windows 10 just at 33%. Windows XP, out of support in 2014, still clings to over 5% of the market. There is a huge number of Windows 7 computers out there that need to be updated or replaced before January 2020. Avoid the craziness that is bound to ensue during the holiday season of 2019 when procrastinators are faced with limited inventory and time constraints on implementing upgrades.

If you have a windows 7 machine sporting a 6th generation i5 and 8GB’s or RAM, it’s probably worth the investment to upgrade the operating system. If the computer is older than that you may be better off spending your money on a whole new machine. There are shades of gray in this decision, but don’t spend $200 to purchase the upgrade license plus the cost of labor to perform the upgrade on an aging computer.

Server upgrades from Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 usually necessitate new hardware. A server upgrade is a good deal of work, there is no upgrade path from 2008 to 2016 so you must do a complete new install of the operating system. It’s more efficient to keep the old server, join a new, current technology server to your domain then transfer roles, data and services to the new machine gracefully. Once completed you can demote the old server and retire it from service.

Begin your plans and budgeting to retire your aging Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 computers now so you’ll be ready when January 2020 gets here. The sooner you get this done, the sooner you can enjoy the improved performance and security of current operating systems. The clock is ticking…….


Update: On August 8, 2018 Microsoft extended Server 2012 "Extended Support" end date to October 2023. Click here to see our knowledge base article for the updated information.

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