How to Prepare for Windows 7 End of Life

Small Businesses’ Guide to Windows 7 End of Life

With the Windows 7 End of Life date now rapidly approaching, Microsoft is eager to move people from Windows 7 to newer version of its product before the support ends on January 2010. The 10-year-old operating system is still incredibly popular, with recent reports suggesting that Windows 7 is still being used on 39% of all PCs.

Yes, Windows 7 End of Life begins on January 14, 2020. Up until that date, Windows 7 lives in ‘extended support’ phase. The mainstream support for Windows 7 was ended on January 13, 2015, which meant new features stopped being added, and warranty claims were no longer valid. An unsupported operation system (especially if it’s used by many people) will attract hackers and eventually becomes a major security risk to any business operation that continue using it. Even from pure financial standpoint, it does not make sense to keep and old software patched and updated when newer versions are available.

Windows 7 End of Life: what happens next?

Microsoft will stop releasing updates and patches for the operating system when Windows 7 reaches its End of Life phase on January 14, 2020. Software providers usually stop offering help and support when they discontinue a product. It’s important to know that Windows 7 will continue to work but the risk associated with using it will start to grow when the company stops supporting the software.  Therefor, we strongly recommend our clients to start planning to upgrade to Windows 10, or an alternative operating system, as soon as possible.

Windows 7 End of Life: what should you do?

There are a number of things we’d recommend our clients to do in preparation for Windows 7 End of Life, and the first is to consider upgrading to a newer operating system. However, this might not be the best solution for some people.  For some people the cost of licenses and upgrade can be a major expense that they are not ready for. There are also some companies that rely on old machines that cannot successfully run on Windows 10 operating system. Also, while Microsoft has done a great job of making Windows 10 able to run on older hardware, it’s still a modern operating system that might struggle to work on old Windows 7 machine.

Here’s the minimum specification for Windows 10:

  • Processor: 1 Gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor.
  • RAM: 1 Gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
  • Display: 800 x 600 resolution

If your machine does not meet the minimum specification, then upgrading your machines might be the easiest and most cost-effective way to prepare for Windows 10 operating system. However, there might be cases where upgrading a few components of your system can save you hundreds of dollars on each device.

One last thing, we do not advise our clients to spend any money or time in Windows 8 upgrade because it wouldn’t be long before Microsoft stops supporting Windows 8 too.

Windows 7 End of Life: back up your documents

Before scheduling an update or a system refresh, you should make sure that your documents are safely backed up. While all your files should technically transfer during the upgrade, there is no guarantee that it’ll be an smooth and error-free process. There are many cloud and local backup solutions that you can use to get a complete and temporary backup of all your data before upgrading your operating system. Contact us if you’d like to start planning for this upgrade or if you’d like to get a free assessment of your current systems.