Windows 7 is expected to be EOL on 14 January 2020, on this day, Microsoft will stop releasing updates and patches for the operating system (OS) without a paid Extended Security Plan.
Microsoft actually ended Mainstream Support for Windows 7 on 13 January 2015, which meant new features stopped being added, and warranty claims were no longer valid. Windows 7 is now in Extended Support Phase which means the OS is getting patched and updated to make sure security issues and bugs are fixed. Microsoft has provided the option for organizations to pay for Extended Security Plan past EOL date. However, the price is steep with little support.
Ignoring the EOL timeline comes with many dangers. When Microsoft stops issuing updates and patches, the OS effectively become orders of magnitude more vulnerable to security threats and hackers are quick to exploit.
Here are just a few risks to be concerned about:
- Security Vulnerabilities – No more security fixes mean your OS is a minefield of security hazards. A firewall and anti-virus are not sufficient protection against unpatched vulnerabilities.
- Software Incompatibility – Software vendors stop guaranteeing compatibility with legacy OS.
- Compliance issues – Regulated industries such as banks and healthcare deal with sensitive data protected by laws; a security lapse could result in big fines, company shutdowns, or jail time.
- High Operating Costs – Fixing bugs and maintaining EOL software can out way cost of upgrading.
- Poor Performance & Reliability – EOL and out-of-warranty devices are prone to break down and could drive up the cost of downtime.
In summary, EOL software poses a huge risk to the organization. It can end up costing your business a considerable amount in money and lost productivity. Take action now to start upgrading before it’s too late!