Posts Tagged ‘Windows 7 availability’

End of Life Countdown for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

Posted on: May 25th, 2018 by jiml | No Comments

Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 on January 14, 2020. This means no more security patching and no more support from Microsoft. Windows 7 will go the way of Windows XP.

This planned obsolescence of these operating systems can be viewed negatively as Microsoft’s way of forcing us all to Windows 10, or we can look at it positively that Microsoft has given us all ample time to prepare, plan and budget for this eventuality. The transition can be smooth if your business takes the time to plan and prepare. Those that wait until the last minute will be scrambling to upgrade or worse yet, do not complete the upgrades and find themselves the victim of a data security breach because of an unpatched vulnerability on a Windows 7 computer.

The good news is that Microsoft has precedent of patching egregious security flaws on expired operating systems on occasion. That is not something we can count on and we also need to be aware that in past cases the onus is on the user to know about, find and install the proper patches if Microsoft decides to release a patch for an expired operating system. With the state of cyber threats that are present today, this is not a scenario we would recommend for any business.

Can you upgrade to Windows 10 or do I need to buy new computers?

In most cases you can upgrade to Windows 10. Older hardware may not be compatible, so it does make sense to take an inventory of your desktop workstations and decide based on age, hardware and purpose if the computer should be replaced or upgraded.

For my Windows Server 2008 R2 server, can I upgrade, or do I need to buy a new server?

While there is a migration path to Server 2012, Colden Company Inc. recommends replacing server hardware. There are several reasons for this. The first being, if you are running Server 2008 R2, chances are the hardware is reaching end of life from whichever manufacturer it was purchased. Dell, as an example, provided seven years of hardware support for a server. A second reason for replacement is there is a new operating system than 2012 out there, 2016. If you are replacing you might choose the operating system that will give you a longer life cycle.

What else should I be concerned about when upgrading?

In short, applications. It is important to ensure that your important applications can and are supported on these newer operating systems. The good news is that Windows 10 and Server 2016 have been out in production for some time giving application providers plenty of time to adapt. Also give thought to what you want to do with your old computers if replacing them. Do the hard drives contain sensitive data and need to be wiped or destroyed?

In summary, your business should have a documented plan on how you are going to prepare for and budget for this event. I will refer to my often-used Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People here and remind our readers that effective people spend their time on important and perhaps non-urgent tasks like this. Ineffective people put off these important tasks in favor of more time sensitive yet less important tasks until the important task becomes an emergency. Put another way “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Contact us today so let us help your business put together a comprehensive migration plan and protect your business data from the retirement of Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2. Call us at 888-600-4560, email us, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.







Microsoft Life Cycle Information

Posted on: January 28th, 2016 by jiml | No Comments

Out with the old and in with the new! That is the mantra of many software vendors who want to support a limited number of versions of their software- including Microsoft. Microsoft recently announced end of support for a few of its products. This means no further patching on these products and using these may result in a security risk for your organization.

The first is one that everyone uses or is aware of- Internet Explorer. If you are using Internet Explorer 10 or lower, it will not be supported in most cases after January 12, 2016. This is an important consideration as Internet Explorer is outward facing, meaning it is used to access the Internet. Please see the link here for details.

.Net Framework is a software package that most computers have but you may not be aware of it. It works in conjunction with other software and resides on most PCs. .Net Framework Version 4.5.1 and lower will no longer be receiving patches or hot fixes after January 12, 2016. The upgrade process here should be carefully considered. Often software vendors will couple .Net Framework with their software or rely on a certain version for their software to work as designed. Blindly upgrading may affect existing third party applications.

Finally, SQL Server 2005 is going off extended support on April 12, 2016. This is a database engine that powers certain applications. The upgrade process here is more involved but is recommended as there have been many improvements in the SQL engine since the 2005 version in areas such as security and performance.

If you are unsure if this affects you, please reach out to us and we can help you plan a migration onto newer, supported platforms for your applications.

On the “new” side of the equation is Windows 10. We informed our readers in a past blog post that although Microsoft dropped mainstream support for Windows 7 in 2015, it will remain under extended support (patched) through 2020. Microsoft is heavily committed to Windows 10 and is aggressively pushing it out to their customer base. According to a December 2015 study by NetmarketShare.com, Windows 10 has already matched Windows 8 and Windows XP in market share. Windows 7 remains the predominant operating system but Windows 10 is rapidly gaining momentum as Microsoft pushes it out (for free for a limited time).

There have been two recent announcements regarding Windows 10 that caught our eye here at Colden Company.

1) Resellers like Dell, HP and Lenovo will not be able to sell anything BUT Windows 10 after October 31, 2016. This means your business needs to be prepared; test your critical applications on Windows 10 before that date or you may find yourself in a situation where you need a new PC/laptop and only have Windows 10 as an option.

2) Microsoft announced that some new processors will only work with Windows 10.

It is clear that Microsoft is making a heavy investment into getting its user base onto Windows 10 as fast as possible.

Is your business still running insecure versions of Internet Explorer? Are all of your mission critical applications tested to run on Windows 10?

Call us at (888) 600-4560, email us, or see us on Facebook or Twitter and let our experts help your business.