Millions of people are still using the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system despite it being completely unsupported. When Microsoft pulled the plug on support for the OS in January, most industry professionals expected there to be some exploits found pretty rapidly. It turns out that the very first exploit was actually Microsoft’s fault, and that Windows 7 support had a little life in it after all.
Microsoft is just days away from retiring not just one, but two of its most popular operating systems. The software giant has made a point to run a major campaign warning people who are still using Windows 7 that they are going to lose support after the January 14, 2020 deadline; but, as of this writing, there are still over a quarter of desktop users running the software. With the deadline looming, we thought we’d look at what this means for users and go through some of the options they have.
In days, Microsoft is pulling the plug on both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. If your business still has to move away from this software, you need to act today. The consequences for not moving away from these titles can be absolutely dire for your business. Let’s take a look at your options.
If you are still using the Windows 7 operating system for your business, you probably have looked into upgrading. If you haven’t you only have about a month until Microsoft officially retires the OS. As a result, you will need to make a plan to keep your business’ IT supported while you find a solution.
Whenever a Windows operating system reaches its End of Support or End of Life, there is always a period of chaos where companies are scrambling to react in time. Is your business one of them? If you fail to take proactive measures by implementing new software solutions before the end of support date, you could be exposing your business to unprecedented danger--especially considering how popular Windows 7 is with the user base.
All good things must come to an end eventually, and Windows 7 is no different. Microsoft is officially ending its support of this operating system relatively soon, but this doesn’t mean that you should jump ship without a plan. In fact, Microsoft realizes that some businesses and organizations simply can’t make the jump in time, so they have implemented contingency plans for these companies. The problem is that it’s expensive. We’ll walk you through everything there is to know about how Microsoft is handling the end of life events for Windows 7.
Software developers create software for function, to make profit, to challenge convention, and many other reasons, but when a software company becomes as important to people as Microsoft has become, they have to ensure that their products are well supported. Microsoft support, as an extension of their software offerings, typically helps users navigate the problems they have with their software. Every so often, however, the product you have navigated automated menu after automated menu for will turn out to be unsupported, leaving you asking yourself, “When did that happen?”
Microsoft is unlike many other software developers, of course. Their software runs a majority of the business computing infrastructures in the world; and, as a result, they continuously update and support their programs for years after launch. They have to. Too many people depend on the software they develop to leave them unsupported. A problem is presented to businesses that don’t know that their software’s end of support dates are coming up. These businesses are in danger of either running systems that depend on unsupported software; or, spending significant capital on upgrading to a more current, and reliable computing construct. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are the next two titles on tap for obsolescence, losing support after January 13, 2020.
Planning for the long term and knowing what your options are can put any organization in an advantageous position. At PCSOFT, we are dedicated to ensuring our clients are in the know and ready to pounce on any opportunity they have to improve their business. In this case, getting out from under unsupported software, and antiquated hardware. With the end of support date for two of Microsoft’s frequently-used operating systems on the horizon, here are three options your organization has to ensure that, before the time comes, you’ve moved onto circumstances that won’t permanently damage your business’ ability to conduct business.
If your organization has the capital to upgrade your in-house server and software, there is no real downside to doing so. If you host your own hardware now, but run some semblance of Windows Server 2008, there is a good chance that the hardware you run it on is “old”. Older hardware has older components that are naturally more prone to failure than newer components. At PCSOFT, we can migrate all of your files to new hardware that runs software that is in no danger of being unsupported like Windows Server 2016. We can also upgrade and managed all of your organization's software. Despite its popularity and effectiveness, Windows 7 will have to be upgraded to Windows 10 as Microsoft has stated that they will be standardizing the Windows platform and be making frequent updates to Windows 10 for the foreseeable future. This option will also cost the most, as buying new hardware is an extraordinarily expensive endeavor.
Another option that the modern business has is to virtualize all of its data and hardware and host their company’s infrastructure in the cloud. Utility computing in the cloud is commonplace today for businesses of all kinds user needs. In fact, your business probably already takes advantage of it on some level. On this large of a scale, however, where everything is virtualized, you need to come in with a plan. The IT Professionals at PCSOFT can provide you with a detailed roadmap that properly take into account your organization’s situations. Essentially the relationships we’ve established over the years will help your organization quickly move its computing infrastructure to the cloud, providing enhanced accessibility, flexibility, and mitigating the need for you to make outrageous capital investment.
Build a Powerhouse
For companies that aren’t comfortable hosting all of their data and infrastructure in the cloud, there is a powerful solution: to build a hybrid cloud. There is a misconception out there that all cloud interfaces are hosted in faraway data centers. Any organization can build a powerful, reliable, and sustainable cloud computing platform on premises that allows you the best of both worlds: a flexible, accessible computing construct that is available from anywhere there is an Internet connection, on any device; and, one that is hosted in your office, managed by people you trust, and as secure as you want it to be. PCSOFT technicians can design and implement any strategic hybrid infrastructure platform your business could need. For companies that are tasked with federal and state mandates, the hybrid cloud solution is a great way to maintain the security and reporting necessary, with the collaborative options of hosted utility computing.
Microsoft isn’t the only software company dumping support for old software, but since over 90% of the computers in the world run some semblance of Windows, it is important to understand just what you are up against if you do not get out in front of Microsoft’s decision to stop support early in 2020. Organizations that choose to go this route will need the expertise that only professional IT technicians have. At PCSOFT, our technicians have experience with server migration, public, private, and hybrid cloud roll-outs, and working with hardware and software vendors to get our clients’ computing infrastructures up and running the way the need them. To learn more about the end of support dates for Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2, or to talk to one of our IT professionals about where your organization should go next, call us today at 02 98730080.