When Windows 7 support ends on Jan. 14, 2020, technical assistance and software updates that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product. And while Microsoft strongly recommends that individuals move to Windows 10 sometime in the next four months, the changeover can be a little more complex for business owners
“Not only is support ending for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020, but also for Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2,” explained Mike Montalbano, owner of Team Logic IT in Dongan Hills. “Business owners need to decide which migration option is best – upgrading the software on their existing equipment or possibly considering an upgrade in hardware which will include the most recent software versions. Either way, it’s a necessary change since Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates or ‘patches’ for these operating systems and hackers will certainly be looking to exploit this.”
And Montalbano said that there is good reason to plan your migration now:
“It’s important to beat the end-of-life deadline,” he said. “By creating a timeline for migration, upgrades and replacements now, you will avoid the crowds that will strain resources and hardware suppliers in Q4 of 2019.”
An upgrade to current operating systems will also be an upgrade in capabilities and performance, Montalbano explained.
“Machines with legacy software tend to have legacy hardware that needs to be brought up to current standard to avoid failures,” the IT expert said.
Key steps for business owners include assessment: “Inventory your apps and server roles running on Server 2008 and 2008 R2 and workstations running Windows 7, analyze the configuration and workload and then determine the best path,” Montalbano said.
Business owners should also implement an upgrade to fine-tune their resources, optimize costs and strengthen security and compliance.
“The need to upgrade is imminent,” Montalbano said. “Doing this now will save time and money.”
Mike Bloomfield, president geek at Tekie Geek in Eltingville, stresses the security threat associated with this change.
“This is exactly how hacks are found,” he said. “Hackers use holes like this to take control of computers and if there’s even one workstation in your business that is overlooked, the entire system can easily be taken over. If you’re still operating Windows 7, this is a change that needs to be made right away.”