Windows 7 has been one of the world’s most popular operating systems since 2009, while according to recent Microsoft estimates, about 60% of its server installed base remain on Server 2008. Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 as of this week, with no further security updates or fixes to come. Support will be available for a (hefty) fee until 2023. When you consider that Microsoft products make up the foundation of most business technology environments, this really is a double whammy.
If you're one of the 42% of people using Windows 7, this is a big deal. While Windows 7 will still run after January 15, there will be increased vulnerabilities to successful cyberattacks.
Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 are vulnerable operating systems, which makes them prime targets for hacking. As you read this cybercriminals are hard at work finding and exploiting flaws. In addition, system compatibility issues snowball rapidly as updates to hardware and software evolve. Updated features won't be applied to Windows Server 2008, resulting in impaired productivity, poor server performance and a plethora of system issues.
It's like an engraved invitation to hackers to waltz in and compromise your systems. The results can be disastrous: local data exposed, user accounts stolen, and internal organizational servers falling under the realm of the attackers.
Now’s the time to upgrade to Windows 10 and migrate to Server 2019. While you may be able to pay (abundantly) for extended support, that's just putting off the inevitable. Avoid disruptions to your business, and take advantage of this as an opportunity to modernize your tech environment. In addition—spoiler alert—support for Office 2010 is slated to expire in October 2020. You could potentially be running the huge risks of conducting business through unsupported software and on unsupported platforms!
Key take-away: The only wrong plan of action when navigating end of support is doing nothing.
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