Industry News

Microsoft ending support for Windows 7

Windows 7 support to be discontinued – What does this mean?
Microsoft will be ending their support for Windows 7 on January 14th 2020. You might be thinking ‘that’s ages away Prodigy, why are you telling us this now?’, but whenever an operating system is discontinued, a lot of people look for last minute upgrades and are disappointed when we can’t fit them in before the deadline. We hate to disappoint, so it’s worth starting to think about and plan now.

After the date above, PCs and laptops running Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates. There will also no longer be Windows 7 technical support available from Microsoft Customer Service. Not only does this mean Windows 7 machines will be left vulnerable, it also means that if you find yourself with a problem which needs to be escalated to Microsoft, there won’t be anyone to help.

What happens if I continue to use Windows 7?
Although your PC or laptop will continue working running on Windows 7, Microsoft’s withdrawal of technical assistance and software updates mean your machine will be left vulnerable to new security threats and viruses putting your data, and potentially your network, at risk.

As time goes on, you will also find that software developers will no longer be looking to ensure their products work with Windows 7. For example, Sage might be working when you go home one evening, receive an update from the developers overnight and then no longer work in the morning. In that situation, you would then need to upgrade your machine in order to continue using Sage, which could leave you unable to access it for the time it takes to source, setup, and install a new machine.

Can I avoid replacing PCs and laptops?
If you are running a machine, or machines which is using Windows 7, it is likely that they are over 5 years old. It’s not just a strongly encouraged suggestion from us – the industry as a whole recommends that you replace hardware every 5 years to keep things running smoothly and ensure maximum protection against security threats.

Although for home users it might be possible to upgrade the software to Windows 10 if your machine is compatible, we don’t recommend this course of action for business machines as it can cause compatibility and security issues as well as causing machines to run slower, leading to workplace frustration and a larger cost in the long run.

What if replacing machines is too expensive?
If you’re currently adding up the number of machines you have running Windows 7 in your business and totting up what it might cost to replace them, you might be interested in our Managed Workstations service, which allows you to pay monthly for machines which have their security and updates fully managed by us as there are no upfront costs.

If you’d like to learn more about this option, download our Managed Workstations info sheet below.