Windows 7 End of Life Upcoming

Microsoft's extended support end-date for Windows 7 is scheduled for one year from now, on January 14th, 2020.  Similar to when Windows XP's support ended several years ago, there are some things this will and will not immediately impact:

First, and likely most pressingly, if you are using either a credit card solution integrated into your point of sale software or another solution based on your PC, you will not be compliant with PCI security requirements if you continue to use Windows 7 past the end of support.

Even if not using an integrated credit card solution, continuing to use Windows 7 past its end of support date will open you up to potential security holes, which Microsoft will not be providing fixes for.

Now is the time to plan on what to do about your older Windows 7 machines, whether that is updating them to Windows 10 or replacing the machine entirely.

Due to this deadline being less than a year away, computers purchased through Extreme Point of Sale, Inc will no longer have the option to come with Windows 7 installed.  Windows 10 has been the default for several years, but until now we were able to give users the option of getting Windows 7 on most machines instead if preferred.

While we do not have immediate plans to discontinue support for Windows 7 in updates to ThunderPOS, there will eventually come a time when new versions of the software will not work on Windows 7 as we continue allowing for new versions and features of Windows 10 to work.  We will provide notice of when this will happen.  Though it is not a guarantee of the timeline this time, Windows XP worked for new versions of the software for around two years after its end of life.
Texting and Twitter Support

Coming in the next release we are offering support for marketing through Twitter and through text messaging.  These features, among the most requested following last year's major updates, allow for help with promoting your store in two similar but distinct ways.

The Twitter integration allows you to link an account to your point of sale and have your employees see incoming direct messages or mentions.  This can allow you to reply to customers who might have complaints or concerns.  You can also schedule tweets to send out on a recurring basis, or send out information when you get particularly interesting new stock in.

This is intentionally more limited than a general twitter client, making certain that employees keep their focus on just store business rather than the social media site in general, while giving the tools needed to quickly do what you need to to keep your customers engaged.

Text messaging is a much more one-way method of communication, but it can be used in ways that twitter cannot.  The most important part of text messaging is that customers must opt in to receive messages, which will be sent to the primary phone on their account.  This is a legal requirement for a business wanting to send texts to your customers.

There are options for either using your own account through a back-end provider or for purchasing text credits from us and allowing us to manage the account, as shown below.

Text messages can be triggered through a few different methods:  
  • You can send a welcome message to new subscribers.  We highly suggest including the method of opting out in this message.
  • You can send either a summarized or itemized receipt through text.
  • You can either manually or automatically send out notice when special orders and preorders are ready for pickup.  This can replace the much more labor-intensive task of calling these customers.
  • You can schedule marketing messages to go out to either all customers who have subscribed or to customers based on a search, allowing you access to powerful filtering, down to such things as 'customers with birthdays this week' or 'customers who have bought this specific item'.
Support Incident Policy Change

We are making a change to our per-call support rate.

Previously, calls were $55 for up to half an hour, then charged at a per-minute rate of $2 past that point.

Going forward, we are changing this to a flat $100 per support incident.

This will not affect either customers on phone support or on a monthly rental license which includes phone support.

The current version of the software, available for supported users, is 5.2.5  If you want to get back on support, or to upgrade to phone support from email support, contact sales at (919) 387-7597 x100.

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