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Chances are if you are still using Windows 7, you’ve begun to see warning messages about its imminent end-of-support date. Microsoft is retiring support for one of its best tools on January 14, 2020 and if you are still running Windows 7 after that date, it could put your whole IT infrastructure at risk. Let’s take a look at the particulars of Windows 7’s retirement and what your options are.

January 14, 2020

We are now just a month away from Windows 7 End of Life event. After January 14th, any computer still running Windows 7 will not be receiving technical assistance from Microsoft. First released in late October 2009, Windows 7 was one of Microsoft’s most effective and popular operating systems, but the time has come to upgrade.

Why Shouldn’t You Run Unsupported Software?

Simply put, by running unsupported software your business becomes much more vulnerable to cyberattack. Supported software is routinely patched to keep potential vulnerabilities from becoming disasters for your company. A data breach can flatten any forward momentum a business has, and today, with ransomware being a consideration, making sure all of the software you depend on is supported keeps your business secure.  Besides the security issues, there are other considerations to contend with, like a loss in functionality 

What are Your Options?

Since you have around a month left to upgrade away from Windows 7, you still have time to switch your Windows 7 workstations over to Windows 10. Windows 10 is the current standard and has been for nearly five years. To upgrade to Windows 10 requires at least a 1 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 20 GB available on a hard drive. Since these specs aren’t much over what Windows 7 required, it may not be necessary to overhaul the hardware on each workstation. 

Extended Support

For organizations that simply won’t have time to upgrade their machines there are a couple of options that you should know about. Microsoft is offering a costly extended support package that will available for all Windows 7 Pro and Windows 7 Enterprise customers with volume licensing through January 2023. Most businesses will not qualify, but if yours does, the costs for Enterprise will be $25 per device from 2020-2021, $50 per device from 2021-2022, and $100 per device from 2022-2023. The cost of support for Pro versions will be double that. 

There are, at this moment no plans to support this software after 2023.

Microsoft 365

If your business is looking for an option that will move you on from Windows 7, Microsoft now offers the Microsoft 365 Bundle. Available in enterprise, business, and education platforms, the cloud-based bundle provides users with Windows 10, the productivity and storage applications in Microsoft Office 365, and the security and control settings needed to get the most out of the subscription service. Paid by the user, per month, major hardware upgrades can be tabled or done incrementally, allowing a business to pay as they go until they get to where they want to be. 

If your organization needs help upgrading your software, or keeping it patched and up-to-date, call the IT professionals at Symmetric IT Group today at (813) 749-0895.

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