Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 on January 14, 2020. 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 so that they can focus their investment on supporting newer technologies. This is a standard part of their product life cycle.
After January 14, 2020 technical assistance and automatic updates that help protect your PC and Server will no longer be made available for these products. Your systems will no longer have security protection and will be out of compliance for all major security compliance requirements (MA Data Security Law, HIPAA, etc), so it’s extremely important to be aware of this deadline and start the planning process now.
As part of the planning process, it's very important to consider the impact on Line-of-Business Applications. These are the more specialized applications you may use to operate your business like tax preparation software, electronic medical records, resource planning applications, etc. Typically, all standard business applications like Microsoft Office (of course), and routine things like Quickbooks will run on Windows 10 just fine, but even though Windows 10 has been in the market for five years, we continue to see some interoperability problems with some line of business applications. It's very important to understand this before the change is made. In some cases, vendors haven't kept up and ironed out all the bugs, but in other cases, if you're running an old version of an application, you'll need to upgrade to a more current version to be able to run on Windows 10, and this needs to be factored into the plan, budget, and schedule. The same considerations are needed for upgrading from Server 2008.
We’re advising everyone in our community to have a Windows 7 / Server 2008 end-of-life plan in place by the end of Q1. For everyone on a managed service plan with Ekaru, the operating system report is included in your monthly report, so that’s a good starting point to look at which systems will be affected. Note that we can now provide hardware on monthly subscription basis, so this may be a fit for many businesses.
Please reach out to us with any questions and to help with the planning process.