Microsoft made a commitment to provide 10 years of product support for Windows 7 when it was released on October 22, 2009. When this 10-year period ends, Microsoft will discontinue Windows 7 support to support newer technologies. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product. Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 10 sometime before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need service or support that is no longer available.
This news, of course, has caused some consternation for consumer and enterprise users alike. Windows 7 was wildly popular and is still relied on by millions around the world. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and to allay some of the fears and questions you may have, we have compiled the following FAQs:
What exactly IS “end of life”?
End of life is the term Microsoft uses to identify the period when the company will no longer support an operating system or application. In this case, that means Microsoft will no longer patch security holes in the operating system, and if issues arise or bugs develop, you (or River Run) won’t be able to call on Microsoft to fix the problem. In many cases, hackers wait until end-of-life dates have passed to wreak havoc on systems running the out of date software. Due to the product being unsupported, there will be no further patches to fix the security issues that present themselves after end of life occurs.
What does Windows 7 end of life mean for my security?
It is not uncommon for hackers, knowing when end of life hits, to wait until after that date to find ways to exploit vulnerable systems and wreak havoc. After all, if Microsoft isn’t going to support the operating system and there are still plenty of people using it, why not attack? The fact is, the sooner people can get away from Windows 7 and switch to Windows 10, the better.
Is there any way to receive support for my Windows 7 device after January 14, 2020?
Microsoft recommends updating to Windows 10, as your security will be severely compromised. However, business users can purchase Extended Security Updates (ESUs). However, just because you can buy them doesn’t mean you should.
The price point for these Extended Security Updates increases year to year. For organizations with Windows 7 Enterprise, updates will cost $25 per device in the first year, $50 per device in the second year, and $100 per device in the third. This is an “add-on” to a Windows volume license agreement.
Organizations with Windows 7 Pro devices will pay $50 per device in the first year, $100 per device in the second, and $200 per device in the third. This does not require a volume licensing agreement. Remember, ESUs are updates and patching ONLY; anyone who purchases these will not have extended support or warranty through Microsoft.
What should I do?
Call your River Run Account Exec! We are ready and waiting to engage in a planning process for your exact needs. For most Windows 7 users, moving to a new device with Windows 10 will be the recommended path forward. Today's PCs are faster, lightweight yet powerful, and more secure, with an average price that is considerably less than that of the average PC eight years ago. Either way, we can forge the right path for your exact needs.
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