There is less than one year left for Windows 7 support. On 14th January 2020, Microsoft will finally end all support for the popular Windows 7 operating system.
In addition, some other widely-used software 2010 will also go out of support in 2020, including
- Windows Server 2008 R2
- Microsoft Small Business Server 2011
- Microsoft Exchange 2010 email server and
- Microsoft Office 2010.
This means there will be no Windows Updates, software patches, security fixes or technical assistance for these products.
Why is this important?
An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These updates regularly include security fixes that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal your personal information and infect your devices. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—such as new drivers for your hardware. Without these updates and patches, older
If you have Windows 7 PCs or laptops, Microsoft strongly recommends that you upgrade them to Windows 10 before January 2020 to avoid a situation where you need support that is no longer available.
How can I tell if I have any of these versions?
Will I be able to use Windows after support ends?
Yes. Even if you have an unsupported version, Windows will continue to start and run. You just won’t be able to receive software updates from Windows Update any longer.
However, do keep in mind that when Windows XP went out of support in 2014, it wasn’t long after that before exploitation of the final version of the platform became fairly widespread. Malware can spread much more easily on obsolete platforms because, without security updates, known vulnerabilities will remain un-patched. As a result, it’s crucial to move away from them as quickly as possible.
Are there any other issues?
Yes – it is worth noting that this also means that there will be:
- No technical support from Microsoft – customers will no longer be able to contact Microsoft to receive support on Server 2008-related problems even in the event of a business-critical incident or major downtime. Users may not be able to restore their system or recover any data or applications that are stored in the server.
- Windows 7 is being left behind for new software releases. For example, you can’t install Office 2019 on Windows 7.
- Compliance issues – organisations within some regulated industries are legally required to disclose their usage of outdated software. There are reports that using Windows 7 and Server 2008 beyond their support dates could lead to immediate failure of CyberEssentails and PCI (card payment) compliance. Many third-party applications will not support out of date software which can lead to a fail of compliance audits.
- Reduced third party support – other third party hardware and software vendors such as anti-virus, accounting programs and backup software, are likely to stop supporting their products on this platform too
- More costly to run – the workloads and applications running on Server 2008 will become more expensive to manage and maintain. Operational expenses will increase as additional security will be required to keep data safe.
- No benefits – the opportunity to take immediate advantage of new IT infrastructure and application developments, management tools and cloud options will be lost.
When does support end for my version of Windows?
Check the end-of-support dates for your version of Windows.
If your version of Windows is still supported, you should always be sure to install the latest updates or service packs for Windows. You can download and install these through Windows Update.