After over a decade, Microsoft has decided to bring Windows 7 to ‘end of life’ status. Support for the programme ended on January 14th. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for any issues, ongoing software updates or security patches.
What does this mean for Windows 7 users?
Microsoft has stated that running Windows 7 without continued software and security updates will leave users at greater risk for viruses and malware. The reason for this is that when Microsoft send out their monthly updates, security patches are a key part or this. Windows 7 will use much of the same code as Windows 10, however, it won’t be updated and potential weaknesses will no longer be addresses anymore. With the number of current users still standing in hundreds of millions, hackers are likely to use potential weaknesses to target computers still running Windows 7.
What should I do?
Microsoft have stated that the best thing to do if you are still operating a Windows 7 system is to buy a new device that is running Windows 10. Whilst it is possible to download Windows 10 on a computer that was previously running Windows 7, Microsoft have advised that this is not recommended. This is because an old system running Windows 7 may have difficulties in running a modern system in Windows 10. Techradar, for example, recommends that to effectively run Windows 10 you need at least a 2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM (8GB ideally) and a 160GB hard drive. If your computer is not up to these standards, then it might be time to speak to Curve IT Managed IT Services for some recommendations on treating yourself to a new device.
If, however, your computer does fit those requirements there are some benefits to upgrading your old system. It is the easiest solution for a start, and you are able to keep your documents in one place. You will have to buy a Windows 10 license, however, and these can be expensive to purchase, which is worth keeping in mind, especially for businesses with a large number of devices and users.
What if I don’t do anything?
Initially, Windows 7 will still run as normal. It just won’t be getting the patches each month. You can keep your computer ‘patched’ manually. This reduces the risk to some degree but devices utilising a Windows 7 system are still more vulnerable than their Windows 10 counterparts. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said that it would ‘urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts’.
How Curve can help?
The Managed IT Services team at Curve has already helped a range of businesses move to Windows 10. As well as ensuring your organisation is running an up-to-date, supported operating system, making a move to Windows 10 can also help your company deploy applications and infrastructures that will help support flexible and collaborative working practices. This includes moving to cloud based software, such as the latest version of Microsoft 365, and making use of collaboration tools such as Microsoft teams.
Contact Curve to talk about how our Managed IT Services team can help your business upgrade