If you’re a SouthTech client and your desktop is still operating on Windows 7 software, or you’re still utilizing Windows Server 2008, this applies to you. If you’re not sure, you’re going to want to call your Client Account Manager (CAM) or our Client Services Team and find out. Why? Because starting in January 2020, Microsoft support for both of these products will be permanently ending. This means that your software will become unsupported, unsecured, and your company will be out of compliance, which is a big problem especially for our clients in the medical field.
Why does this happen? Why would Microsoft end support for their own products? (For the non-tech-person in the office this is a genuine question!) The simple answer is: Microsoft is focused on the future, a Windows 10 future. Windows 7 has served so many, so well, for close to a decade. It makes sense, for any company, to always be improving and in doing so they must maintain focus on the path forward. This coupled with the resources needed to maintain and develop patches, updates, security improvements the decision to set an end date for Windows 7 Support was needed.
EOL for software has been and still is driven by improvements – but more and more it is being driven by security. The bottom line is that the more “flavors” of an OS that Microsoft has to support, the more time is needed to issue continuous updates and security patches. A prime example of what can go wrong when your system isn’t fully upgraded is WannaCry – a ransomware bug that tore through Europe because it took advantage of a vulnerability in unpatched Microsoft systems.
In addition to being safer on upgraded software, today's latest systems are simply faster, more powerful. There are far more benefits to upgrading now than there would be to holding off until the last possible moment.
If you’re still operating on Windows 7 you’re already behind; you’re currently running on extended support, which means you could be paying more for limited support on a product you’re going to have to upgrade eventually. We recommend doing this sooner rather than later. Extended support offers only the bare minimum, covering security upgrades but not much else. Our team wants to make sure you’re covered, and they’re already working behind the scenes to create a timeline of manageable server upgrades that will ensure all our clients are upgraded before the dreaded End of Lifecycle deadline. Last minute server upgrades are risky, and January 2020 will come a lot faster than you might think.
Our team will be reaching out to clients that are still operating on these systems in the immediate future; expect to hear from your CAMs and see this come up in our monthly newsletters until all the desktops and servers we manage are fully upgraded. If you’d like to get a head start and find out what you’ll need to do to start preparing for these upgrades, don’t hesitate to reach out.