Windows 7 is Expiring: What You Need To Know

 In Security, Windows

Win7

In January 2020, Windows 7 is expiring. No big deal right, you have plenty of time…. well, maybe not so…

In this blog post we will simplify what this means to you and your organization, what to do, and when you need to start taking action.

First things first: Does this even apply to you?

If you’re on a newer version of Windows (i.e. Windows 8, 8.1, or 10), no reason to read the rest of this blog post (unless you really want to, then go ahead grab a cup of coffee, some popcorn, and enjoy!).  Our only suggestion is to high five your IT Person and thank them for their great work (chocolate also works too).

If you are on Windows 7, you are part of the 41.7% of all Windows users affected by this change. No big deal, let’s go through your options:

Option 1: Do Nothing.

While we do not suggest this, it is an option.  Below are the Pro’s and Risks associated with deciding to do nothing.

Pros:

At first, nothing will change.  Your computer will continue to work, your applications will continue to open, and things will continue much like they have in the past.  As it ages, however, you will notice a negative impact on basic functions and applications.

Risks:

The biggest and most immediate issue is one of security.  Microsoft plans on eliminating any security updates for Windows 7 after January 14, 2020.  While Windows is one of the most secure operating systems on Earth, you will lose continued protection.  Think of how far the “bad guys” of IT have come in the last few years.  While they continue to come up with new and innovative ways to get your information, you will not be able to rely on Windows for that protection.  The only way to mitigate the security concerns would be to run your computer offline with no internet connection or access to email.

 

Option 2: Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade

We know, this is every Tech person’s favorite word (and a great Beyonce song) but it WILL resolve this issue.  Below are the Pro’s and Risks for Upgrades.  With upgrading you have two options: Upgrade Windows, or Upgrade your Machine.

Upgrade 1 – Upgrading Windows:

On the surface, upgrading Windows is typically the most cost-effective option, but there are a few situations we’ll outline below where simply upgrading your Windows won’t be enough.

Pros:

Simply upgrading your license allows you to keep your current hardware and it is the most cost-effective approach to addressing the Windows 7 security concern. It also should be relatively easy and quick to complete the upgrade.

Sounds like an easy choice, right?

Cons:

If you don’t have the right hardware and software specs, upgrading your Windows version can be a challenge and frustrating to navigate. You’ll need to consider what hardware you have and ensure it will perform. Some things to consider when looking at your current hardware include:

  • Age and Speed of your processor
  • RAM – do you have enough RAM for Windows 10?
  • Are you running a 32-bit version of Windows on your current machine?
  • Low performance components in your current machine

A good, and simple, analogy to consider when assessing your hardware is to compare it to a car. Imagine lining up a 1999 Honda Civic in a race against a brand new one.  The brand new one would smoke the ‘99?  Why?  It’s upgraded, more efficient, effective, and it’s just built differently.  Even if you took the brand-new engine and put it into the ‘99 Civic, it’s not going to run the same.  It wouldn’t be able to operate the same, you wouldn’t get the same notifications, etc.

Approach your PC the same way – look at your machine’s specs and make sure whatever upgrade you see you need isn’t going to be for nothing because something else needs upgraded.

Upgrade 2 – Upgrading your Machine:

At first this may seem like the most expensive option, but once you start to consider the potential cost of any upgrades your current machine may need, this may be more cost effective, and better for your overall business operation.

Pros:

Chances are if you’re running Windows 7, you may need an update for some of your hardware or software.  Upgrading your machine will offer you better technology (increased performance) as well as help alleviate the potential security threat.  Also, all new PC’s come with Windows 10 pre-installed.  A two for one.

Cons:

You may have an unnecessary expense.  Your hardware may not need to be upgraded.  If this is the case, again go high-five your IT Person, they are killing it!

While we are not sure this will be the case, it is worth checking into if you want to go the update software and hardware route.

 

Ultimately the choice is yours.  What we do recommend is having a plan well before January 2020.  This will save you headaches, money, and downtime.  Your IT expert will also thank you, as no amount of chocolate can help a lack of planning and last-minute IT “emergencies.”

 

What’s your plan?  Comment below and tell us!

Not sure how to tell which version of Windows you’re on? Still unsure of what to do?  Contact us and we will be happy to give your organization some ideas/suggestions. 

Have a topic you want us to cover?  Send it our way! Contact Us

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