(Boring facts by John Brewer. Good writing by Joseph Guerrero.)
Welcome friends and family and thank you for coming to this sad event. We gather together not to mourn but to celebrate the life of a great program. Let us pray.
I’m writing this on 14 January 2020, the last day of support for Windows 7.
We’ve had a several customers ask us exactly what does “End of Support” means, and what will happen to their Windows 7 computers. So, before you go bury your computer in the backyard, I’d like to clarify what is happening.
First off, Windows 7 will continue to run tomorrow, and most programs will continue to work. The end of support means that Microsoft won’t be expending more effort ensuring that Windows 7 is secure and that all of the services it relies on remain online. Despite this, some individuals may well elect to continue using Windows 7 for a variety of reasons.
For businesses, though, this is really where the decision to remain on Windows 7 turns from merely being change-adverse… to being irresponsible. Windows 7 has been a mainstay of the personal computer scene for over a decade, but it’s worth remembering the landscape it was born into, and what we were the chief concerns at the time.
The iPhone 3 had just come out, and Apple was still making updates for the now-two-year old original iPhone. Windows Vista had been roundly rejected two years before, due to a whole slew of concerns, but that’s a story for another day. YouTube had just introduced 1080p video streaming. Most people had never heard the term “Ransomware” until that July when headline-grabbing cyberattacks on the Pentagon, the New York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ made everyone quake.
Windows 7 also came out near the end of an era where software was something you bought and owned. Starting with Windows XP, Microsoft required “activation” of the security key that came with your operating system, and Windows 7 continued the evolution of Windows as a product with a clearly defined lifecycle. Indeed, Windows 7 outlasted most of the hardware it was originally designed to run on. As the expected lifespan of a device has fallen to less two years on average, most new businesses are relying on software-as-a-service models like Microsoft 365 to keep their software up to date for the latest hardware.
Windows 7 can still be activated after today, as can Vista, and XP before it. No doubt, we’ll see Windows 7 out there in the wild for a long, long time to come. In the grand scheme, it will be leaving the workplace as a whole since it is now vulnerable without support. Though, some customers with special hardware or out-of-date equipment will still need to keep it alive. Cue the zombie apocalypse.
If your business is still using Windows 7, especially on mission-critical computers, be sure to reach out to us at Deep Core Data. We can keep it alive…or help you move on to a safer, more secure way of doing business…minus any zombies.