We’re around six months from saying a fond farewell to Windows 7, as Microsoft ends support for it January 2020. However, it’s not only Windows 7 that is biting the dust - Microsoft Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 are also being scrapped.
But what does that mean?
It means that if you’re still using Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 in January 2020, Microsoft won’t be looking after you any longer. When Microsoft ends support for programs, it means that they aren’t taking care of any issues that arise - if something goes wrong with these programs after the cut off date, Microsoft won’t be helping you out.
It also means that Windows Updates won’t be running on any of these programs. Although for some, waving goodbye to the slow moving update screen may seem like a blessing, it means your machine is at risk from any new viruses (or, even old viruses) that wiggle their way towards your computer.
This probably won’t affect me though, right?
The easiest way to check whether you’re using any of these programs is to ask your friendly, Gateshead or Durham based IT support team - as we’ll be able to tell you exactly what programs you’re currently running, and, if you are running Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, establish a plan to move to a new operating system or server.
If you choose to remain on those services that Microsoft is ceasing support for, you put yourself and your business at risk. Hackers and perpetrators of internet nasties are very interested in the operating systems and servers that Microsoft are ending support for - because it means that it’s far more likely their ransomware is going to get through.
This is because when Microsoft does offer security patches for vulnerabilities, each update comes with notes on what is being fixed. And often, the security issue is on all previous versions of Windows - so although it's been found on Windows 8, it's also present in Windows 7, XP, Vista, etc. Phishers then just need to read Microsoft's own notes on this vulnerability, and target computers running software that is no longer supported by Windows.
In addition, many of the programs that your business currently relies on may start to run into problems on Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 & 2008 R2 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Understandably, those developing and running their own applications apply fixes and updates to their programs, and they may fail to update on an older operating system - meaning your organisation is at an even higher risk.
Do I really have to say goodbye?
For Windows 7 users, the operating system you may be using is reaching its 10 year anniversary. This means that you’re likely to find an operating system like Windows 10 far quicker, easier and user friendly - Microsoft have come a long way in the last decade! If you’re worried about transitioning away from Windows 7, and are unsure about moving to a new system, we can help.
Our IT support team can help ensure that your documents and files are backed up, your software and hardware will work with the new operating system, and manage the installation process. We’re always willing to walk you through how to use your new programs, and answer any questions you have about your new operating system or server.
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