As the clock ticks down to the end of extended support for Windows 7, businesses around the world are having to take a long look at their IT environments. Windows 7 still retains the largest share of the operating system market in the business world. Despite being nearly nine years old, 40.88% of all computers are still running Windows 7, the largest share of any operating system on the market. The gap between those using Windows 7 and those using Windows 10 is shrinking, but changing operating systems across your business can be a huge task that not only affects your computers, but your printers and other hardware as well.
Windows 7 is one of Microsoft’s stalwart products. When Windows 8 was released, the public outcry from the removal of that infamous Start button to the unfamiliar feel of the new interface and little to no difference in functionality made Windows 8 a huge failure. And with such failure, most Windows 7 users failed to switch to the system. Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended in January of 2015, which means that Microsoft no longer releases feature updates and service packs for this operating system. They do continue to release security patches, and that will continue through January 14, 2020. Once that extended support ends, there will be no more security updates, and this will leave your technology environment open for breaches, malware, ransomware and more.
How to Prepare for Windows 7 End of Life
While there is about a year left before Windows 7 is finally retired, it’s a great idea to prepare early. Upgrading every computer in your business will likely lead to some disruption, especially if you have hardware and software that isn’t compatible with a newer operating system.
Just like software, older hardware devices such as printers and MFPs may not work or have limited functionality when moving from Windows 7 to a newer operating system.. While there are some temporary work-arounds for this, none are practical for a long-term solution. Contact your printer and MFP provider early on to decide what equipment will need to be replaced and what should be ok. Ensuring that all of your systems remain operable with one another is imperative when making a major technology change. Depending on your current hardware and software, there are likely newer and more compatible versions of your applications available, and it will all work flawlessly with Windows 10,
When upgrading your operating system, it is important to take matters slowly and have a strategy in place from the beginning. This is extremely important for printers and MFPs, as well as proprietary software systems. Consider upgrading small batches of users at a time to keep any onboarding issues at a minimum.
New technology can be tough to deal with, but with Fraser and our Managed IT services, we will work to ensure your transition is smooth.