We started telling you over a year ago (and have reminded you several times since) and now the day has finally come: Windows 7 is now end-of-life. As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer publish security updates and patches for Windows 7. The official announcement and some FAQs from Microsoft can be found here.
Should I Upgrade or Replace My Systems? So what should you do if you still have machines that are running Windows 7? If they’re over a few years old or no longer have an active factory warranty, you should probably look at replacing the computers versus trying to upgrade them. While it technically might work, it’s going to be a lot of effort for a computer that is probably past its prime anyway (and old hardware might not have vendor support for Windows 10). Best idea would be to replace the computer.
My systems are fairly new, how can I get a Windows 10 license? The free upgrade program for Windows 10 expired in July of 2016, and you’d have to acquire a valid license if you want to put Windows 10 on a computer. Some computers that had Windows 7 on them were sold using what are called downgrade licenses. What that means is that they are running Windows 7, but they were downgraded from Windows 10, so they have valid licensing for both. You’d have to discuss that with your computer’s manufacturer or look in your computer’s documentation to see if you have a valid Windows 10 license. Otherwise, you’ll need to acquire one, and they run around $200 directly from Microsoft (and oftentimes, that $200 is better spent towards a new computer).
What if I’m in a regulated industry (like medical or HIPAA-regulated)? This is where you really need to get things replaced as you are now out of compliance. Up-to-date patching is generally a requirement for regulated industries and Windows 7 will no longer be receiving security updates, potentially putting you out of compliance and at-risk for fines.
Now what? Contact our sales team to discuss replacement of your business’ computers and to come up with a game plan.