Are you ready for Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 end-of-life?

Are you ready for Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 end-of-life?

We can’t be sure whether it was Socrates or prized pupil Plato who said, “All good things must come to an end, especially in business software,” but whoever it was, he was right.

We also can’t be sure whether he was referring to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, but for both of those Microsoft products, the end is indeed nigh. And business owners need to make a move soon.

Windows 7: Support Ends January 14, 2020

The Windows 7 operating system was released in 2009 with the purpose of improving upon its predecessor, Windows Vista. It was successful in that regard, thanks to upgrades in speed, navigability, and security for millions of business users.

Windows 7 was hailed as a leap forward for operating systems and as Windows’ best release to-date, but as the ancient Greek philosophers possibly predicted, support for Windows 7 is ending. This means the technical support, routine feature updates, and automatic security patches you receive as a licensee will cease.

Windows Server 2008: Support Ends January 14, 2020

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (“Release 2”) represent the second major release in the family of Windows Server operating systems -- succeeding Window Server 2003 -- with R2 serving as a direct counterpart to Windows 7 when it went to market.

Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 run on thousands upon thousands of businesses’ servers, but, as with Windows 7, support is ending for both versions, meaning technical assistance and updates will no longer be available. Even more importantly, the discontinuation of cybersecurity patches could leave you exposed to online attacks and susceptible to non-compliance with GDPR and other data privacy regulations.

What Should You Do?

What moves should business owners make in light of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 end-of-life?

For Windows 7, the recommended solution to ensure security and data safety is to switch to Windows 10. There are two options for doing so:

  1. Switching to new machines. The newest computers on the market are far faster and more powerful than the ones being sold at the time of Windows 7’s release, so upgrading to new machines with Windows 10 pre-installed ensures you have enough memory and processing power to handle the demands of the operating system.
  2. Upgrading your existing machines. This involves wiping the Windows 7 operating system software from your PCs, laptops, and tablets and reformatting them with full versions of Windows 10. But this isn’t advised, as in some cases your hardware specs will not keep up with the new operating system’s demands.

For Window Server 2008 and 2008 R2, the recommended solution -- to ensure not only security and safety, but also that you take advantage of the performance and cost-saving benefits of virtualization technology -- is to upgrade to Windows Server 2016 or to retire the server entirely. There are two options for doing so:

  1. Assess your environment to determine whether a server is still needed. There are many scenarios where a server is no longer needed as many applications and workloads can now be run in the cloud.
  2. Upgrading to on-premises Windows Server 2016. First you should identify all the machines running Windows 2008 Server, and what their roles are in your business. Then you should determine the order in which they can be brought offline to cause minimal disruption to your business during the process of upgrading to Windows Server 2016.

If you need assistance deciding which option is best for your PCs, laptops, and tablets (Windows 7 to Windows 10) or for your servers (Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2016), or handling any e-waste that results from your upgrades, or making sure your new operating systems and reinstalled software applications are properly licensed… call Founders Technology.

And it’s recommended that you make your move no later than 6 months prior to end-of-life.