On the 14th of January, 2020, Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft and suffer the same fate Windows XP and Vista did before it. No more security patches, software vendors will no longer support their applications on it and anti-virus and security products will stop being written for it. Development will stop (as it already has for some companies) and if you continue to use Windows 7 after Jan 2020, you will have productivity, compatibility and security issues.
While this may seem early to some people, Windows 7 was released on the 22nd of July, 2009, meaning it will be eleven and a half years old by that date. Windows XP was supported for twelve and a half years, so Microsoft are remaining consistent with their support cycles.
So where to from here.
As Windows 10, the go to replacement for Windows 7 has been out for a few years now and has significant upgrades over that time, chances are that your Windows 7 machines are out of warranty and are due for replacement before Jan 2020 anyway. We have been deploying Windows 10 to our clients now for a number of years, so any modern machine provided by RODIN should be running Windows 10. If you fall in to this category, then now is a good time to review your fleet and ensure budgets are in place to replace any remaining Windows 7 machines within the next two years.
If you have hung on to some older machines running Windows 7 and plan to ‘run them until they die’, the 14th of January, 2020 is the day they die. They will obviously still function, but for all of the reasons above they should no longer be connected to the internet as they pose a large security risk. The age and speed of these machines by this date will become a productivity factor for staff (and may already be!), so ensuring machines are fast enough to keep up with day to day operations is a must. As machines age, they are at higher risk of failure and a planned replacement of a machine requires almost zero downtime compared with an emergency replacement due to failure.
At the time of writing, we are seeing just over 50% of our customers machines still running Windows 7. Our account managers will reach out and discuss your options, but if you are not a RODIN customer and would like us to review your fleet and options, please feel free to reach out.
What other options are there?
The cloud and cheaper connectivity in Australia have opened up plenty of alternatives to the traditional approach of replacing workstations. Some options are;
– Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Delivering end users dedicated machines in the cloud suited to their workload. This allows people to access their business computer from anywhere on any device, just like they are in the office. Providing better performance than traditional ‘Remote Desktop Servers’, older workstations (running Windows 7) can be re-purposed into thin clients without the burden of Windows end of life cycles, giving new life to old hardware and avoiding capital expenses for hardware. For more information on DaaS, see http://www.rodin.com.au/daaspapers/
– Remote Desktop environments. Similar to DaaS, these are centralized servers that can provide access to business environments from anywhere, running from on-premise server infrastructure or the cloud to provide users with a consistent and standard experience.