Windows 7 End of Life: How Will This Affect Your Business?
Date: 14 October, 2019
As of 14th January 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide support for Windows 7.
Windows 7: End of Life
Microsoft is strongly recommending upgrading to new hardware running Windows 10 before January 2020.
This will avoid issues regarding support that will no longer be available. You can find out more information from Microsoft here.
Windows 7 end of life notification
Windows 7 has been one of Microsoft's most popular operating systems to date. Because of this, Microsoft has programmed an 'end of life notification' for Windows 7 users to encourage them to move to Windows 10 before the end of life date. If you are seeing this notification on your PC or laptop you should think about moving over to Windows 10 as soon as possible to continue receiving support from Microsoft.
Can you still use Windows 7 after 2020?
Yes, you can, but it is not recommended. Your PC will still work after the end of life date, but it will become more vulnerable to viruses and security risks.
Windows 7 end of life risks
There are a few risks if you decide to continue using Windows 7 after its end of life:
- Security vulnerabilities: your machine will no longer be protected with security updates and fixes. This means you will be vulnerable to malicious security hazards and viruses. Cybersecurity is a serious threat to individuals and businesses. Action should be taken to safeguard sensitive data whether that's intellectual property, financial, personal, or other types of data for which unauthorised access or exposure could have extremely harmful and potentially criminal consequences.
- Long term costs: the costs of not upgrading far outweigh the cost of moving over to new software (and possibly hardware) to operate Windows 10; not just monetary, but also time costs. If you continue to use Windows 7 it will become slower and when things go wrong you will not have support to fix them.
- Compliance issues: if you hold any sort of customer or staff data you are legally required to look after that data. We have already seen well-publicised breaches of GDPR compliance leave businesses with astronomical fines, and failure to safeguard by something as simple as not upgrading your software could lead to the same outcome. To maintain certifications such as ISO 27001 or Cyber Essentials you will be required to upgrade to the recommended Windows 10, or you will risk losing them. Your business insurance policies could be made invalid in the event of a cyber attack.
- Software incompatibility: put simply, new software ois designed to run on new operating systems. If you continue to use Windows 7 you won't always be able to upgrade to the newest applications. This means you will use older applications for a longer period of time which may reach their end of life quicker.
- Poor performance and reliability: older technology is more prone to breaking down, therefore continuing to use Windows 7 past its end of life increases your risk of breakdown. In this instance, downtime may be more costly in the long run because of an overdue upgrade.
We spoke to Rob May, Managing Director of ramsac, who gives the following advice to businesses:
"Windows 7 becoming end of life should not come as a surprise to anyone, it’s been well publicised, and the software is now very old technology. The big issue is that once it goes end of life, that is the end of security updates and patching. Cyber Security should be a huge concern for any business owner or director as they are liable under GDPR for any breaches. Running non-current software significantly increases your chance of a breach and thus prosecution."
For more information read ramsac's blog piece on Windows 7 end of life.
Why you should not upgrade to Windows 8
Windows 8 mainstream support ended back in January 2018, and the extended support is only available till 10th January 2023. In terms of longevity, it is more cost-effective to upgrade to the appropriate hardware to use Windows 10 now, than to upgrade again in 3 years' time.
Upgrading to Windows 10
Windows 10 is the most up to date operating system available from Microsoft and is the version they recommend you upgrade to before the Windows 7 end of life. There are minimum system requirements for Windows 10 to be able to run on your hardware as intended, so you may want to consider upgrading your hardware at the same time.
Windows 10 system requirements
If your hardware doesn't meet these specifications (or equally only just meets them) Windows 10 will not run as intended on your machine. You may want to consider upgrading your hardware to be able to run the operating system smoothly. The requirements from Microsoft are as follows:
- Latest OS: make sure you're running the latest version - either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 update
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800 x 600
Managing your upgrade to Windows 10
We’ve established that upgrading to Windows 10 is absolutely necessary, so if you’re still operating on Windows 7 you should create an action plan as a priority. The cost of upgrading to Windows 10 will depend on the hardware you are already using, and how many devices/machines you will need to upgrade. We would recommend speaking to an IT support provider for an IT Audit which will determine your options for upgrading.
Advantages of Windows 10
- Speed: Windows 10 is much faster to use than previous versions of Windows. There is also a fast start-up feature, meaning you can get to work straight away.
- Newer, easy to use applications: now scale and adjust as you increase and decrease the window size making multitasking much easier.
- Advanced security/protection: improvements in data protection using sophisticated technology. You can safely move your data between devices (PC's, tablets, mobiles, etc.), email, and the cloud with confidence that your business data is protected at all times. You can also now sign in securely with your face or fingerprint (requires hardware capability).
- OneDrive syncing: making it easier to take advantage of cloud storage.
- Easy to use/reduced complexity: providing an all-round better user experience. Businesses can now personalise their systems to suit the way they work.
- Improved search bar: making it easier to find your documents and files quickly by simply clicking the magnifying glass.
- Cortana: Microsoft's 'personal digital assistant' which can be activated by voice.
- Touchscreen capability: which might not be your preferred method at first, but will quickly seem quite handy! (requires hardware capability).
- Nearby sharing: send files and documents directly to nearby PC's using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Why use Reality Finance for your Windows 10 upgrade?
Reality Finance can provide a bespoke arrangement for business users through our Total IT Finance solution for hardware, software, services, and support costs. This means everything from your initial consultation to your order, installation and training can be included within your agreement, so you can concentrate on business as usual.
If you’ve not yet considered Windows 10 for your business, you need to act fast. Get in touch with Reality Finance to discuss your individual business requirements and put a plan in place. We can provide an affordable monthly payment plan which covers all costs involved in the upgrade, without incurring an up-front cost.
Windows 10 customer upgrade example
Reality Finance has already helped many customers in multiple sectors upgrade their hardware and/or software to Windows 10. A recent example of where Reality Finance has assisted with a full customer upgrade was for a holding group for several Care Homes in the UK. The business needed to upgrade to Windows 10 to ensure the systems could continue to run smoothly and be compliant with other systems in place. They decided to upgrade their hardware at the same time, opting for laptops so that the management team was able to be mobile across the businesses instead of the traditional desktop PCs. An affordable three-year finance agreement was put in place, and the new laptops and peripherals were delivered straight to the customer. The business is now able to work remotely and securely.
Why choose Reality Finance?
We are a top Asset Finance Provider, demonstrated by our consistent 5* Feefo ratings.
We provide Asset Finance within the UK for all types of businesses, from start-ups and small businesses through to large companies.
We are more than just a Broker, we are a principal lender in our own right; meaning additional flexibility in your funding options.
We know Asset Finance requirements inside out, so after a quick discussion with you, we can determine what funding types your business is eligible for, and which of our lender's may be able to offer the best rates for you.
We explain your Asset Finance options and work with you to find the best funding solution for your business.
We are on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding the process.
We provide quick Asset Finance, with most funding decisions made within 24 hours.
We can also provide Asset Finance for your customers if you are a vendor, manufacturer or distributor.
Would you like to find out more?
Give us a call on 01483 413859 and speak to one of our lovely team.
Or alternatively you could fill in our callback request form and one of our Brokers will call you directly to discuss your requirements.