When Microsoft launched Windows 7 in 2009, they committed to 10 years of product support. That support ends on January 14, 2020, the day when Windows 7 reaches its end of life (EOL). Microsoft’s plan was always to move forward and develop better operating systems (OSs). That’s why in 2015, they introduced Windows 10, the OS that would eventually replace Windows 7.
However, Windows 7 still runs on about 36% of desktops despite only having less than a year of support left. If your business is part of this statistic, you should be very concerned. Here’s why.
- System vulnerabilities
You can still use Windows 7 after the January 14 deadline, but Microsoft will no longer provide any technical assistance or software updates, including security patches. This makes Windows 7 systems vulnerable to malware and cyberattacks.
Just how dangerous is it to run on an OS that has no security patches? In 2018 alone, AV-Test.org registered 67.7 million new strains of Windows malware. Add to that the number of known malware and the number goes up to 930.42 million. But that’s not the most terrifying part.
Security experts believe that cybercriminals are waiting for Windows 7 support to end before they release nastier, more damaging malware. After all, the Windows 7 OS will be defenseless to new strains, and cybercriminals are looking forward to exploiting this weakness.
- Higher costs
Because Microsoft will stop all support for Windows 7, you will need to find support for the OS on your own. You might need to hire third-party support teams and consultants to fix complex issues that were previously supported by the developer. What’s more, if you need replacement parts for your old Windows 7 machine, you may have to scour the world over just to find one. And because your replacement options are limited, expect that they will be expensive.
But even without these projected operational costs, upgrading to Windows 10 is the more viable financial choice. After all, Windows 10 Pro only costs $199.99 per license, while a data breach can cost small to mid-size businesses more than $2.3 million.
- Compliance issues
Various federal, state, and industry-specific compliance standards are set in place to protect consumers in an increasingly digital world. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), for one, requires all companies that accept, store, process, and transmit cardholder data to have all their system components and software “protected from known vulnerabilities by installing applicable vendor-supplied security patches within one month of release.” Using Windows 7 after its EOL date no doubt violates this rule, and such noncompliance can spell steep fines, gruesome litigation, and extended periods of downtime for your business.
- Software incompatibility
Developers stop creating software and apps for an operating system that’s about to go obsolete. Instead, they make new applications optimized for the newer, supported OSs. If you continue to use Windows 7 beyond its support date, there will come a point when you won’t be able to install new versions of programs because of compatibility issues. Your company will be stuck using legacy applications while competitors move on to newer, more efficient software.
As Windows 7 EOL draws near, the upgrade to Windows 10 becomes inevitable. Transition to Windows 10 effortlessly with Kosh Solutions. Contact us today at 888-979-KOSH or send us a message by filling out this form.
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