All software products have a viable lifespan; none can go on forever. When a Microsoft application or operating system reaches “end of life”, Microsoft will no longer continue to support it. For Microsoft customers, this means there will be no further development of patches, fixes, or security updates. Microsoft products have typically had a lifespan of 10 years. It is now time to consider the end of life impact of Windows 7, Server 2008 and 2008 R2, SQL 2008 and Office 2010.
Windows 7, Windows Server 2008/2008 R2, and SQL Server 2008 will no longer be supported after January 14th, 2020. Office 2010 will no longer be supported after October 13th, 2020.
Impacts to every business
Microsoft’s customers can continue to use applications and operating systems after their end of life, as it will continue to function at a basic level. However, once support ends, these products instantly become much more vulnerable to security risks. PCs and server equipment running these applications and operating systems are also likely reaching the end of their life and hardware becomes old and less stable. Microsoft will also no longer offer the backing of their support team when a major issue arises. As your support team, these two issues concern us the most.
For Windows 7 and Office 2010, end of life means different things for different organizations. If you have migrated to Office 365, or plan to soon, you are already heading in the right direction. If your machines are older than four years old and running on Windows 7, it’s time to update your hardware. For those with Windows 7 on newer machines, it’s merely time to upgrade the Operating System. In this scenario, the upgrade cost is mostly for labor and can be orchestrated to minimize impact to your organization’s operations.
The greatest risk
The most significant threat to running Windows 7 and Server 2008 after the end of life event is the security risk. Hackers are always working hard to find weaknesses in systems to gain access to data. For applications and operating systems still supported, Microsoft works hard to combat those hackers by regularly releasing patching and maintenance to fix any gaps before the general public is at risk. As an example, after January 2020, if a way to exploit a weakness in Windows 7 operating system is discovered, there will not be a patch released publicly to fix this security risk. You will always have that weakness in your system and essentially become a sitting duck.
What can you do
We suggest working with our team to establish a plan to upgrade the affected applications and operating systems prior to the start of 2020.
What would happen if you decided not to migrate?
- Your organization faces an ever-increasing risk of a security breach.
- Your employee productivity will decrease over time as issues arise.
- Your organization will fall behind the technology innovation curve. Return on investment is easy to demonstrate for modern applications and services are worth the investment from a productivity and feature standpoint.
- Your costs will increase for technology support.
If you have questions about what end of life means for your business or want to discuss next steps, feel free to contact us. Our GadellNet Account Management team will be reaching out to establish next steps with all of our affected clients.