2019 is upon us and that means it’s only a year before Windows 7 becomes end of life.

Microsoft have traditionally provided “mainstream support” for 5 years on products – and then “extended support” for a further 5 years.  In the extended support phase, security updates are issued – beyond that nothing is promised.

It’s important to remember that having up-to-date software that is still supported is not only good computing practice – it’s also a requirement of such standards such as PCI-DSS and CyberEssentials.  Antivirus products can only go so far – if there’s holes in the core system itself, security products can’t typically fix this.

Windows XP ended extended support in 2014 and organisations could pay large fees to Microsoft to continue supplying updates for it; such an organisation was the British Government who between 2014 and 2015 handed £5.5 million to Microsoft to ensure security holes were being patched in their systems.  This deal expired however and when the Wannacry Ransomware virus hit the NHS in May 2017 it took down 48 of the 248 NHS Trusts in England leading to chaos whereby appointments couldn’t be booked and operations were cancelled.

 

How does this affect my business?

From our experience, businesses tend to only move on hardware and software upgrades when forced to and at the last minute. With no guarantee that Windows 7 Extended Support will be extended (extended extension, if you will) this is something that needs your consideration sooner – rather than later.

 

What you should do to plan

  1. Microsoft Windows 10 can be upgraded over the top of an existing operating system – but quite often this is a bad move as all the issues with the previous operating system remain. Look to reinstall the operating system fresh.
  2. Are your programs compatible with Windows 10? Older versions of the Microsoft Office Suite (2007 and prior) aren’t certified as compatible.  Sage 50 Accounts v18 and prior won’t work with Windows 10 – it’s recommended to find this information out before you investigate the cost of upgrading the operating system.
  3. How old is your hardware? If you have a machine that is 4-5 years old, you will probably find it more cost effective to just replace the PC.  PCs aren’t like cars – they don’t rise in value over time – don’t waste good money on a PC that will not last long enough to repay it.

The best piece of advice we would give is to ask a professional.  Here at Galactech we have over 20 years of experience of upgrading, reinstalling and supporting Microsoft’s creations – we can save your business money as we do things right first time, letting you go back to doing what you do best – running your business.

For assistance with upgrading systems and bringing your company into line with industry standards please contact us on 01202 973800, or drop us an email to hello@galactech.co.uk

 

Related Links

We’re able to upgrade your PC to Windows 10, check out or products page for more details.

Interested in Certification? We can assist you with PCI-DSS, CyberEssentials, and many other certification standards. Click here for more details.    

 

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