Your Guide To Microsoft’s End Of Windows 7 Support

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Support for Windows 7 is coming to end this year. The operating system is 10 years old, and in the near future, Microsoft will discontinue all support – including security updates – for this version of Microsoft Windows.

This means the end of Microsoft security updates and this means many 3rd-party security tools like anti-virus may no longer function.

“Malicious Actors” a. k. a. “Hackers” will quickly exploit any Windows 7 computer the moment security updates stop and any future security vulnerability is discovered.

Microsoft tells us that as of October 2018, about 39% of business computers are still running Windows 7. Clearly, there is a lot of work to do over the coming months to prepare businesses for the end of support of Windows 7. [Read more…]

Time To “Bite the Bullet” And Upgrade Your Software

From the largest of the large companies to the everyday home user, there comes time when you have to upgrade your software, either by force or necessity.

No one wants to spend money to upgrade their software when they feel it still works and functions for their needs, but truthfully, that old reliable software needs to go.

The most important thing to remember is that software companies don’t end support of their software out of malice. It’s simply a business decision.

For a company to continue to release updates and patch security exploits, it would require countless man hours from software engineers, support staff and help desk personnel.

At the same time, they would be continuing to support software that is outdated in functionality and design. No company can survive in today’s fast-paced world by sitting idle.

By not upgrading your software, you are – by your own means – opening yourself and your company up to cyber-attacks from hackers taking advantage of the security exploits that are no longer being patched. This is the single most important reason to upgrade your outdated, End of Life (EOL) software.

While software companies do release new versions of their software and EOL old versions of their own accord, there are times when they too are forced to make changes due to upgrades in an Operating System (OS).

Consider Windows 98, which was the typical OS for several years and boosted a huge selection of software titles ranging from games to business productivity applications.

But when the following Windows releases came along (like XP, 7, 8, and 10) and grew in popularity, any software company that wanted to continue to stay unburied had come up with new versions of their software that would be compatible with each of the new OS platforms.

This, in turn, would force people to upgrade if they wanted to continue to use their software.

Businesses that use programs like Microsoft Office could feel like they are forced into upgrades. This is understandable, but at the same time, you have to make sure your business stays productive and secure.

With hackers waiting for the opportunity to gain access to your business, it’s imperative to make sure you do everything you can to block the attacks. And, yes, this includes upgrading your operating system and software.

There is light at the end of tunnel, however. Companies like Microsoft and Adobe have redesigned the way they sell their software.

No longer will you be locked into one version, whether you purchase the software by the retail copy or by volume license.

They offer plans that allow you subscribe to use the software and during your subscription period you are entitled to receive free version upgrades if there any. They have released subscription plans for large companies, students, and everyday home users.

Remember: it’s better to “bite the bullet” than be struck by the bullet. For assistance with software upgrades or ask questions about the security of your business and software, contact us at (734) 457-5000, or email us at info@mytechexperts.com.

The Reality Of Microsoft EOL Software

Scott Blake is a Senior Network Engineer with Tech Experts.

As in life, all good things come to an end. This fact is also true in the software world. When a software company decides to move on from outdated versions of its software they schedule an EOL or End of Life date.

This is set to allow businesses and home users time to plan and ready themselves to upgrade to the most recent versions.

With 90% of the world’s computers running some form of Microsoft software, no other company in the world has more of an impact when setting EOL dates than Microsoft.

From Office software suites to operating systems for desktops and servers (and even cross platforms such as Office for Apple-based computers), Microsoft software is everywhere.

This alone is the number one reason for preparing and upgrading before an EOL date is upon you. There is no greater example of this as when the EOL date for Windows XP arrived.

Companies that made the migration to Windows 7 well in advance were able to test their company software and hardware, as well as communicate with their vendors to secure working upgrades to both. Those that didn’t suffered productivity and business loss due to unneeded and unplanned downtime to make the necessary upgrades and changes.

But for the basic home user, this was a time of doubt. Many users didn’t want to (or have the means to) replace all of the outdated hardware or software.

Spending several hundred dollars on new software and hardware just to be able to receive security updates and patches seemed a little excessive to most home users.

However, keeping security and your data safe is another reason to make sure you make migration plans.

In most cases when an EOL date has come and gone, so has any and all support for your software and hardware. Other software and hardware vendors will soon follow suit and discontinue support for their products that are installed on systems running non-supported software, including operating systems.

Anti-virus software companies are usually the first to discontinue their support. After all, if the operating system is no longer receiving updated security patches, it becomes difficult to continue to support their software.

Computer systems running EOL software will become major targets for hackers and malicious malware. Your personal data will be at risk.

The truth is it’s not the intent of companies like Microsoft to be malicious when ending support for their products.

No matter how popular they may be throughout the world, it’s a business decision. For any company to grow, they must keep developing and growing their products.

This development and growth is expensive and requires a large percentage of their resources. Continuing to support outdated software and hardware would limit these resources.

This would cause development overhead to rise and, in turn, make that $39 inkjet printer cost $89 or raise the price of that $119 operating system to $199.

By ending support and moving forward, companies such as Microsoft are able to develop new and exciting hardware and software for both the largest of companies and the smallest home user while keeping prices affordable to all.

Some important future EOL dates to keep in mind:

July 15, 2015
The end for support for Microsoft Server 2003 and 2003 R2

April 10, 2017
The end of support for Windows Vista (all versions)

October 10, 2017
The end of support for Microsoft Office 2007 (all versions)

January 14, 2020
The end of support for Server 2008

October 13, 2020
The end of support for Microsoft Office 2010 (all versions)