Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft for free as of 1/14/2020.
Microsoft released Windows 7 in the summer for 2009.
It is extremely popular with 27% of desktops still running it as of March 2019.
Starting in March of 2017 certain computers running Windows 7 stopped receiving security patches (those using the latest Intel, AMD, Qualcomm and other CPUs).
As of January 14, 2020 Microsoft will no longer support this operating system for free. To get support, you need to upgrade OR (NEW AS OF 12/15/2019!) purchase Extended support.
Why does it matter?
Your PC running Windows 7 won’t get any security patches as of January 15 2020 without paying for extended support.
There are already some in circulation and those who have ignored patching have been hit with ransomware hard.
Hackers know this. There is no question there will be numerous outbreaks in the following months.
What is my risk?
Ransomware is on the rise. Unpatched systems are the “in” the hackers need to install and spread the Ransomware.
Quite frankly, your network security is only as good as your weakest link – and that will be Windows 7 (or may be, in March 2017 stopped patching for certain newer processors)
What do I need to do?
Upgrade or Replace? Our internal analysis concludes that any machines over 28 months old would be better replaced than upgraded.
In either case you need to evaluate what software is running on the existing machine to assure it is supported with Windows 10 (most are). If not, then you will need to address that with the manufacturer to get the new version and migrate to it.
Where do I start?
If you have in house IT staff, task them to present you with a project plan and budget for upgrade or replacement of all Windows 7 machines.
Your IT team should be able to very quickly run a report of all machines and what operating system they are running, the age, the hardware specifications, and what software is running. If they do not have this capability, please contact us, as this is a tool set every IT department should have.
If you are responsible for an IT Team I would also question your team as to “How did we get here”? A fundamental responsibility of the IT Team is to plan and budget for the life cycle replacement of all hardware and software solutions under their care. There should be no surprises. Contact us if you would like an assessment of your current network and security position.
PCS International can also resell and apply the Windows 7 Extended Support. This previously was only available to ENTERPRISE customers, but we can provide to ANY customer with a legal copy of Windows 7. Please contact us for more information.