Support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 is ending, what now?
It’s been a good run, but there are just four months left until Microsoft stops releasing security updates for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. What are your options?
Windows 7 and Server 2008 is coming to the end of its life
In January next year, Microsoft will discontinue its extended support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft will no longer provide technical assistance and security updates, which are critical to helping protect your computers against security threats.
Windows 7 was launched on October 2009, just shy of 10 years ago, and the last service pack dropped in February 2011. While mainstream support for this operating system stopped some years ago, Microsoft ensured they remained safe by releasing frequent security updates and patches.
Microsoft’s older support policy means the extended support will end on 14 January 2020. The timeline for Windows Server 2008 is the same.
With 2020 coming up fast, Microsoft strongly recommends users to migrate to the latest operating system, Windows 10.
Your servers should also migrate to Windows Server 2019 or cloud-based technology to provide the most protracted support timeline and to be compatible with Windows 10 clients.
What does end-of-life mean for Windows 7 and Server 2008 users?
So, what happens on these end of life dates? It’s simple, Microsoft will stop releasing security updates for these products.
Windows 7 and Server 2008 will keep working. If your computers or server don’t connect to the internet, you can happily go about your business; the software will be as reliable as ever.
If you use the internet and let’s face it who doesn’t, your entire IT system will now be open to new security threats – attacks explicitly designed to take advantage of people who forgot to update before zero-day.
What are the risks of choosing not to upgrade Windows 7 and Server 2008?
If you choose not to update Server 2008 and Windows 7 to newer operating systems before January 2020, your business will be vulnerable to cyber-attack.
Criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. A cyber-attack is a high-tech attempt by hackers or online criminal syndicates to damage or destroy your computer network or system.
Security breaches can devastate even the most resilient of businesses, affecting your bottom line, as your reputation and customer trust. If you’re not well-prepared, a cyber-attack can have several devastating effects, including:
- Loss, theft or damage of your business data.
- Theft of financial information, including banking and credit card details
- Theft of personal data and identity fraud
- Loss of income from disrupted trading and downtime
- Network security and privacy breaches
- Extortion using sensitive data
- Extra costs to fix the problem
- Extra costs to notify people whose data
- Legal ramifications for lax security
- Reputation damage
Can your business afford the risk of an outdated, unsupported operating system?
What are the upgrade options?
Each time Microsoft stops supporting an operating system, you generally have four options:
- Do nothing and accept the risks listed above
- Upgrade to newer Microsoft products
- Investigate other software options
- Pay Microsoft for extended security updates
Upgrade to Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019
If you plan to stay with Microsoft for the desktop, then the easiest and most cost-effective option is to upgrade to Windows 10.
It could be the last time you need to upgrade your Microsoft desktop operating system. Microsoft is moving towards the strategy of Windows as a service, providing regular updates, meaning there should be continuity for quite a while.
For Windows Server 2008, a straight switch to Windows Server 2019 is a good route, but there are also many serverless alternatives to consider.
Ditch Microsoft server and switch to serverless cloud technology
Instead of upgrading to Windows Server 2019, many businesses are making a move to a serverless environment.
Without the distraction of infrastructure management, concerns about scaling or the cost of having the dedicated infrastructure, serverless technology lets businesses to focus what you do best.
Talk to our team of IT experts to learn more about serverless technology and its business benefits.
Pay for extended Windows 7 and Server 2008 security updates
If you really can’t update before January 2020, there is a way to yourself buy time…literally. Three years extra time to be exact.
That’s right, Microsoft is offering up to three years of Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in volume licencing.
The ESU program is a last resort option for customers who need to run specific legacy Microsoft products past the end of support. It includes critical security updates for a maximum of three years after the product’s end of support date.
The security updates will be sent out to ESU customers if and when available, but they do not include new features, customer-requested non-security updates, or design change requests.
An ESU arrangement can be a pricey option, starting at $25 per device in year one and doubling each year for three years.
Our verdict: upgrade to Windows 10 and migrate to serverless
Don’t leave yourself open to cyber-attack by sticking with an outdated, unsupported and unloved system.
We highly recommend that you replace any computers or laptops that are aged four years and up, and upgrade the operating system on all of your computers to Windows 10.
If you’re currently running Windows Server 2008, we think you should explore whether a serverless environment is the right path forward for your company. Don’t worry; our experts can help you mull over the choices. If serverless isn’t your thing, then by all means moving to Windows Server 2019.
If you have any questions about Window 7 and Server 2008 or the effects of the discontinuation of support will have on your business contact your client manager via firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 5444 8799 for advice