Preparing for Windows 7 End of Support

Windows 7 End of Support: Jan 14th 2020 will be the official end of support for Microsoft Windows 7

Windows 7 end of support: Microsoft ended mainstream support for its Windows 7 operating system on January 13th, 2015, but the extended support period is due to officially come to an end on January 14th, 2020.

Microsoft Windows 7 End of Support

What does this mean?

When Windows 7 end of support officially closes, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for any PCs running Windows 7.

For many people, who have already upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, the Windows 7 end of support will not cause any disruption, however despite Windows 7 being nearly 10 years old, many organisations, reported to still be 35%, are still using the popular Windows 7 operating system. These users will now need to be moved across to Microsoft’s Windows 10 if they wish to continue to receive support including any security patches and updates from Microsoft.

What will happen if you don’t update?

Although Microsoft Windows 7 will continue to work following the January cut off, it is not recommended that users remain on the legacy operating system, primarily due to its vulnerability to security risks without future security updates.

With malicious threats constantly evolving in quantity and complexity, having an unsupported and unpatched operating system following the Windows 7 end of support date, will leave many Windows 7 users exposed.

Vulnerabilities are already causing a concern to the legacy operating system, with Microsoft recently issuing a warning for any users still on Windows 7, urging them to update their PC’s in order to prevent a serious threat after the discovery of a “wormable” vulnerability that resides in the remote desktop component built into Windows 7. Microsoft has stated that the vulnerability could potentially be used to initiate a fast-moving malware threat similar to the WannaCry ransomware seen in 2017.

Customers running Windows 8 and Windows 10 are not affected by this vulnerability, it is however recommended that users keep up to date with all of the security patches issued.

Microsoft will not provide organisations or users any free support, security patches or bug fixes following the Windows 7 end of support date, Microsoft have however indicated that it will  offer Extended Security Updates (ESUs) for a period of three years until January 2023. These ESU’s will be charged on a per-device basis, with coverage being available for purchase in three consecutive 1 year periods following the official Windows 7 End of Support date. The cost for the ESU’s is set to double in price each year, making it an expensive option for those with a large Windows 7 device estate.  Whilst it is reassuring for organisations to know that security updates will be available, albeit at a rising cost, it is advisable that organisations migrate their devices to Windows 10 at their earliest opportunity.

Key Benefits for Businesses to Upgrade to Windows 10

Windows 10 delivers comprehensive, built-in and on-going security protections. It ensures that your devices stay up-to-date, with all of the latest security enhancements and any new features being delivered automatically to help ensure you’re always protected. The new feature updates are automatically delivered to devices via Windows Update, providing that there is the required disk space available. If there isn’t enough space free already, if possible, Windows 10 will automatically free up the required space by running a disk clean up. Any devices that do not have the required free disk space will receive the automatic security updates only, space permitting.

Windows 10 enables cross-device familiarity and universal apps, offering an overall improved experience for our increasingly mobile centred world. The Windows 10 Universal apps (or Windows Apps) functionality enables you to run and synchronise enterprise applications smoothly across both your PC and windows mobile devices.

In Windows 10, virtual desktops are available without having to install extra software, with the feature now being included directly in the operating system. Using the task bar in Windows 10 you can quickly add a virtual desktop, drag open any applications required into the new workspace and seamlessly navigate between them, with any changes made being universal.

One of the standout new features for users of Windows 10 is the addition of Cortana, (Microsoft’s Siri) the voice-activated digital assistant, Cortana enables employees to work faster and more efficiently, whilst getting full use out of all that Windows 10 has to offer.

The new Windows 10 operating system is incredibly user-friendly with a familiar feel to Windows 7. With the navigation changes seen in Windows 8 not being well received by many users, Microsoft have returned to form with a more simplistic and familiar feel to its Windows 10 menus.

Moving to Windows 10 – Existing Devices

Although Microsoft is keen to recommend the purchase of new devices to ensure that you maximise all of the innovative new features available, Windows 10 is actually compatible with most existing PC hardware; most devices that are already running Windows 7, Windows 8, or 8.1 should meet the compatibility requirements for Windows 10.

Windows 10 Compatibility Requirements

These are the basic Windows 10 compatibility requirements. If your devices do not meet these requirements, you may not receive the improved experience anticipated with Windows 10 and will potentially need to consider a desktop refresh as part of your migration plan.

Hardware Requirements for Windows 10:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz)or faster compatible processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • RAM:1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard drive size: 32GB or larger hard disk
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800×600
  • Internet Connection: Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates and to take advantage of some features.

Further compatibility information can be found here: Windows 10 Specifications

From our experience, rolling out Windows 10 on various sizes of estate from 10’s to 10,000’s of devices, we have found that the Microsoft recommended minimum specification will prove challenging when trying to operate efficiently day to day.  An increase in specification is recommended by Krome, with actual specification dependent on application.

If you need to ascertain how much of your current estate is Windows 10 compatible, before the Windows 7 end of support date, then please contact us and we will be happy to work with you to investigate and audit your client estate in order to understand and advise as to the most efficient path of upgrade, be this upgrading HDD’s to SSD’s, or increasing RAM, then our team will be able to assist you in capturing the pertinent information you require to plan your client estate upgrade in order to be Windows 10 ready.

Moving to Windows 10 – Desktop Refresh

If you are looking for full transformational services, then our team of experts will work with you right from the inception of a project, working on building your Windows 10 image, packaging your applications and ensuring you have a Windows 10 build that is fit for purpose, right through to the desktop deployment of your new estate, collecting, data wiping and processing your retired assets for charitable donation or resale.

Windows Migration Consultancy

We provide a full end to end Windows migration consultancy service helping you to identify the desired deliverable result, assisting you, either in full, or in an advisory capacity, to plan a safe and logical migration path that will ensure your project is delivered successfully, on time, within budget and ultimately that it meets your business objectives.

If you would like any further advice on how to update your Windows 7 environment please complete the form below or contact us on 01932 232345.

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