Windows 7 End of Life Approaching
The upcoming end of service (which we previously covered in Tech Talk News Volume 7, Issue 1 - feel free to look it up on the newsletter page of our website) means that users who are running Windows 7 systems will no longer receive support through Microsoft, including vital security updates. This could possibly make your systems more vulnerable to the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats like ransomware, viruses and other malware.
What Are My Options?
Users will still have the option to continue to run Windows 7, though this is not recommended as a long-term solution. It is possible to prevent data and devices from being infected through the use of antivirus and good user practices, but no patch will be coming to prevent hackers or bots from using new exploits. This means that while you could choose to continue to use Windows 7, doing so may be putting your information at an increased risk. To better protect your information and devices, it is recommended that users begin to transition to Windows 10 and budget to make this transition in the coming years.
If there isn't room in the budget to make all the transitions in 2020, Microsoft has announced the option to purchase extra years of support. For those running Windows 7 Enterprise, support can be purchased in 2020 for $25 per device, $50 in 2021 and $100 in 2020. For those running Windows 7 Pro, the cost in 2020 would be $50 per device, then $100 in 2021, and $200 in 2022. This can be a fiscally reasonable alternative for a year or two, but waiting all three years is not ideal and, for those with the Pro version, it could end up costing you almost half of the price of a new workstation for the additional support.
There are two options available to make this transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10, whether that be soon or in the coming years. Of course, it is possible to download and install Windows 10 on an existing system, but this is not at all recommended. Chances are that your systems were designed with Windows 7 in mind as the only operating system (OS) needed. This means that while it might be possible to install Windows 10, there is a chance that each device or workstation may encounter issues and be unable to run the new OS which could render it unusable and/or result in the loss of data. Even having experts from Ridge Support Technologies assist in this area may not prevent such issues from occurring.
What We Recommend
Instead, the recommended solution is to replace the devices running Windows 7. This ensures that the OS will work and makes sure that you do not end up without a workstation for a period of time. It also allows our experts here at Ridge Support Technologies to safely and accurately transfer data from the old device to the new and ensure that there is no data loss.
Why We Recommend It
With most devices that are running Windows 7 being manufactured more than 7 years ago, it is not a bad idea to begin to look at replacing these devices anyway. The prices of PCs nowadays are more palatable and, in most situations, putting the money towards the new system vs. rolling the dice on upgrading can be all but a wash. In order to upgrade a system, it requires spending money not only on the upgrade but the labor involved in pulling it off. That is assuming there are no issues in the process. These upgrades can take a good amount of time which, the industry has found, often end up costing a customer nearly the same amount as investing in a new supported system with a warranty and peace of mind.
We strive to look out for the best interest of our customers and their procurement in the IT venue, be it hardware, software or service related we want to guide you in the most effective manner possible.