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Choosing your Windows 7 exit strategy: Four options
- Originally Published:
- Apr 2019
Microsoft is ending support for Windows 7 next January, so the pressure is on to decide how your organization will handle that transition. In this ebook, Ed Bott outlines four possible routes to consider.
From the ebook:
If your business is still running on Windows 7, you have some important decisions to make, and not a lot of time remaining. Windows 7 support officially ends in less than a year, on January 14, 2020. After that date, Microsoft will stop delivering security updates automatically, and by then most third-party vendors will have dropped support as well.
Most businesses completed their planning for migration to Windows 10 long ago and are in the final stages of implementing that plan. But if you're still procrastinating, it's time to get serious. (And just to make sure you're aware of the upcoming deadline, Microsoft is about to start displaying pop-up notifications on Windows 7 PCs.)
You have, by my calculation, four options. Which one you choose depends on why your organization is still clinging to Windows 7.
If the main reason is inertia, you'll need to find something to motivate yourself. You could, for example, calculate the costs of cleaning up after a successful ransomware attack that spreads over your network, including the loss of business while you scramble to recover. If you're in a regulated industry, you might want to find out whether running an unsupported operating system puts you at compliance risks, which can result in hefty fines and a loss of business when customers find out.
The other possible deployment blocker is a compatibility problem. For most Windows 7 apps, compatibility shouldn't be an issue. If your business depends on specialized hardware or line-of-business software that absolutely will not run on Windows 10, you might be able to make a case for paying to extend the support deadline. But that just delays the inevitable by a year or two, or at most three. Your search for a replacement should be well underway by now.
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