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Best Practices Time's Up for Windows 7: Now Businesses Are Left with these 5 Options

29. January 2020 – Michael Vilain
Time's Up for Windows 7: Now Businesses Are Left with these 5 Options

On January 14, the time had come: Microsoft officially discontinued their support for Windows 7. Since this day, automatic security updates essential for safeguarding valuable corporate data are no longer turning up. In their majority, businesses have long prepared for this date and taken appropriate precautions but for various reasons, hundreds of thousands of companies large and small still rely on this operation system dinosaur for various reasons even after its support period has come to an end. Some do this as a result of a kind of phlegm, others misinterpreting the old saying "never change a running system" and still others because their existing software in part isn't compatible with the more modern Windows 10 operating system.

For all those cases, Microsoft does offer to extend their support until 2023 for a fee but even this cannot amount to more than a short term (and short sighted) postponement of the inevitable.

So there is urgent need to act. And as in most cases in life, multiple options for such action exist, which we will now present in brief.

1. Continue as before regardless

PCs running Windows 7 will continue working just like before after the specific day, at least at first sight. Some may even find the ending of those both regular and annoying updates quite agreeable. As times passes, however, successively more clandestine entrances will open up for potential aggressors that can threat the very existence of an enterprise in an extreme case. So this is not a good idea.

2. Paid support extension

The fees vary according to the support period and are not quite as high as they were back then for extending support for Windows XP, but depending on the number of PCs involved, they can still punch a sizeable hole into the IT budget. And as mentioned above, this option doesn't solve the problem but only shifts it by a short time span into the near future.

3. Maybe try Linux after all?

Linux, in its various distributions, is doubtless an exceptional operating system that can rival Windows or MacOS in many ways. Equally, the number of professional programs available for Linux in most application categories is definitely satisfying—however: Migrating an entire enterprise or even major parts of it to a new operating system along with all the obstacles that would entail hardware and software-wise and especially on the users' side would only render this an attractive option in rare, singular cases.

4. Upgrade to Windows 10 now at last

Even in face of serious incompatibilities with other software solutions deployed in the organisation that first need to be reconciled this might be the most advisable option of those mentioned so far. And as may be assumed that the Microsoft Office releases used on the Windows 7 systems are rather long in the tooth as well this would be a good occasion to be thorough and update the entire Microsoft Desktop to the current state. If it wasn't for one point that could possibly come to be something of a headache: cost. Because unfortunately, that will sum up to a four-digit number per Microsoft Professional Desktop Suite.  But thankfully, there is still one more option ...

5. Upgrade using legally compliant pre-owned software

This is sure to be the panacea to go for: For a fraction of the cost incurred by purchasing original licenses, organisations can update their aging Windows and Office releases to a state ensuring security updates and and full manufacturer's support for years to come—and with no functional or legal limitations at all. Go here to learn how much more favourable this approach is and what organisations considering this attractive alternative should do now.

copyright article image: © pixabay

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