On January 14, 2020, after a decade of continued support, Microsoft will bid goodbye to its most popular operating system: Windows 7
Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates, or security updates for Windows 7 operating system, and the company will shift resources towards the support of Windows 10.
An estimated 38% of all windows users, both residential and businesses, still use Windows 7. These users are not required to update their machines and are still able to browse the web on Google Chrome and use programs like Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Word.
However, just because you can still run this operating system, does it mean you or your small business should hold onto Windows 7 if it is outdated? It’s a question many small business owner have wondered this past year. To keep it short, the answer is NO.
What Does the End of Windows 7 Support Truly Mean?
The main reason every small business owner currently using Windows 7 should upgrade is simple: Cybersecurity and Compatibility.
“When someone is using an outdated version of the operating system, this increases their risk of being attacked through an exploit: a program, piece of code, or even some data designed to take advantage of a bug in an application,” says Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, head of the anti-malware research at the Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity firm. “Whenever a new vulnerability is discovered, the operating system vendor usually delivers security patches only to supported versions.”
This means your computer will be easier for hackers to break into and take advantage of. The absence of official security updates on Windows 7 means your computers and network will be vulnerable with no end in sight. Anti-virus programs can be run to protect your network and data, but you will be left vulnerable to sophisticated attacks such as phishing and ransomware, http://bankinfosecurity.com/ransomware-victims-who-pay-cough-up-6733-on-average-a-11994.
Microsoft actually ended official Windows 7 support on October 31st 2016 when the company told Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to end the sale of retail Windows 7 PCs. This comes back to the “compatibility” aspect previously mention. Most new hardware components and other peripheral equipment already have a hard time working on Windows 7 computers due to the lack of driver support for the operating system. Once Microsoft ends all support for Windows 7, no manufactures will continue to create drivers for the outdated operating system.
Also, that new external hard drive or fancy new wireless printer you wanted to buy for the office won’t work on Windows 7. Intel CPU stopped supporting Windows 7 and 8.1 as newer systems were released. And now, the rest of the manufactures and software vendors will move on. Application vendors do not want their services to run on a susceptible, outdated operating system. So, that user complaining about why their Photoshop creative cloud not working and are running on Windows 7? It’s not the application that is at fault, but rather, the operating system.
Just because manufactures and application vendors move on, does not mean you have to be alone in making the switch to Windows 10.
We at NerdsToGo Computer Service in Portlandwill help make your upgrade a reality, so you can worry less about QuickBooks not running, your personal and customer data being stolen, connectivity issues, etc., so you can spend more time running a successful small business!
What are the Benefits of Upgrading to Windows 10?
The top three benefits to updating your business computers to Windows 10 include:
- Ransomware protection
- Stronger malware security tools
- Safer web browsing
For Microsoft, the protection of your Windows 10 computer is of upmost priority, made simpler with a streamline software update process tool called Unified Update Platform (UUP). UUP identifies the most important updates for your computer and, in turn, reduces download sizes by 35%. This means you will get the most important updates quickest, while also saving precious storage on your computer, and reducing the total time it takes to update your computer.
What Do I Need To Do To Update My Business Computers to Windows 10?
These are the system requirements to run Windows 10:
- Processer: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64 Bit
- Hard disk space: 16GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics Cards: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800 x 600
Majority of modern computers that run Windows 7 will be able to make the switch to Windows 10 easily and often for free.
If you’re unsure if you can make the upgrade, NerdsToGo offers free technology evaluations for small businesses in Milwaukie and the greater Portland area. Our expert technicians will go to your business, and analysis your day-to-day tech needs. Then, the Nerds will offer a plan that best suits your business needs. The information provided is for you to keep, as we believe that the best decisions are made when you have expert advice to guide you.
Windows 7 will be missed by many, including you and your small business perhaps!
But hackers and cyber-criminals are already preparing for the end of official support and will attack any unsupported Windows 7 computer on day one. Therefore, the switch to Windows 10 should be next on your radar for your small businesses. Contact NerdsToGo today to find out why we are one of the most reliable managed IT service provider in the Portland and Milwaukie area, if you want start preparing for the future of technology together!