Support for Windows 7 Officially Ending 14th Jan 2020
After being commercially available for just over a decade, Microsoft has decided to officially drop support for the Windows 7 operating system as of January 14th 2020. For many people, this news comes as quite a disappointment, considering the fact that Windows 7 is actually considered one of the most successful operating systems released by this company.
Even though the macOS operating system has seen an increase in usage, the use of the Microsoft Windows operating system still remains the most popular option for both desktop and laptop users. Windows 10 alone holds a 39.22% share of operating systems used on desktop computers.
Microsoft Announced End Of Life For Windows 7
Microsoft, the developer behind the world’s most popular operating system, recently published a notification that they are dropping all support for the Windows 7 OS on the 14th of January 2020. Microsoft will not prevent existing users from utilising the Windows 7 platform, but no further updates or support will be provided to both consumers and companies who choose to continue using this operating system.
Even though the operating system will still be usable, it is important that companies take note of the security vulnerabilities that they might face should they choose not to upgrade to a more recent version of the Windows operating system.
The Launch Of Windows 7
For many people, Windows 7 was the most successful operating system launched by Microsoft. The operating system was released soon after the company noted that the Windows Vista OS wasn’t performing too well. Windows 7 was officially made available to the public in October 2009. The company announced this operating system as a successor for the Windows Vista operating system.
Windows 7 offered a number of upgrades over the Vista operating system. This was the very first time that Internet Explorer 8 made a debut in one of Microsoft’s operating systems. There were also improved boot times, along with several improvements to the UI of the OS.
At the moment, an estimated 27.49% of all computers still run Windows 7 as its operating system. This is a significant number of computers, and many of these are used in corporate environments, which is the primary concern with the end of life announcement from Microsoft.
Should All Organisations Upgrade?
In 2017, millions of computers running Windows 7 were infected by the WannaCry ransomware. This wasn’t the first time a ransomware attack targeted computers running the Windows 7 operating system – and poses as just a single example of how vulnerabilities in an OS can cause serious problems to organisations.
Microsoft soon responded with an update to the Windows 7 operating system, fixing the vulnerabilities and stopping the infiltration from the WannaCry ransomware.
This is where the main problem comes to mind when thinking about whether or not an organisation should now upgrade to a newer version of Windows. While Microsoft provided users of Windows 7 with updates that fixed any detected vulnerabilities in the operating system, this will no longer be the case after 14 January 2020. No further support will be offered for the operating system by Microsoft.
If new attacks are found to target Windows 7 systems, Microsoft will no longer be responsible for providing fixes to these vulnerabilities. This could put the data of organisations at risk and potentially lead to an increased risk of breaches.
This is why companies now need to think carefully about implementing an appropriate strategy.
Those organisations that do not want to upgrade should ensure they employ strong anti-virus systems, along with a powerful firewall. This could potentially help to reduce the risk of an attack.
For those who are considering an upgrade, it is possible to switch from Windows 7 to the latest Windows 10 operating system without losing any data.
A recent announcement from Microsoft has many people concerned. The company notified the world that they are officially pulling all support for their popular Windows 7 operating system. With millions of people and organisations still relying on this operating system, it is important to take appropriate steps and consider upgrading to one of the more recent versions of Windows. Failure to upgrade means companies might be at a higher risk of cyber attacks and other security vulnerabilities.
Written by The Original PC Doctor on 14/12/2019.