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Date:
5 December 2019
Category:
Microsoft 365

All IT products have a lifecycle which means that, unfortunately, they will eventually reach end of life (EOL). Microsoft products usually have a 10 year lifecycle – 5 years of feature updates, followed by 5 years of ‘Extended Support’ or security updates. After this period, the product will no longer be supported, and customers should upgrade to a newer version.

Windows 7 Operating System (OS) will reach EOL on 14th January 2020.

Continuing to operate on Windows 7 will leave you open to cyberattacks, threatening the security of your organisation. Furthermore, overtime there will be increased incompatibility issues between your OS and your software (both Microsoft and third party) simply because software won’t be built for an outdated OS.

What are my options?

If you’re using Windows 7 on your machines you need to upgrade by 14thJanuary 2020 to remain secure. You have three options available…

1 - Update your Hardware

Laptops and desktops generally come with a preinstalled OS. This means the chances are if you’re using Windows 7, you’re using an old machine that will, over the next year, slow down and fail. If this is the case, we’d recommend upgrading your PCs which will come with Windows 10 as standard.

Another option is Surface as a Service. This is an affordable way to upgrade your hardware through a monthly subscription which includes the lease of Microsoft Surface laptops with Microsoft 365 and support. With this option, you’re effectively futureproofing your business as after a predetermined time, your hardware will be refreshed to the latest models as part of your subscription.

2 – Upgrade to Microsoft 365

If you’re already using Office 365 and need to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10, then you should consider upgrading to Microsoft 365 Business. This includes Windows 10, your Office 365 subscription plus the Enterprise Mobility and Security Suite (EM+S).

In addition to the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, you’ll also benefit from a comprehensive set of security tools that will enable security to be maintained across all your devices without being intrusive. It’s the complete package to tackle Windows 10 EOL, whilst enabling productivity and maintaining complete security.

3 - Buy further time

If you’re simply not ready to upgrade from Windows 7 – or if you have an important application that isn’t yet compatible with Windows 10 – there is another option that can be used as a last resort.

Windows 7 Extended Security Updates will supply you with security patches. This is paid for on an annual basis per calendar year (so if you don’t buy it until December 2020, you will still need to purchase it again in January 2021). This will essentially buy you time to find a suitable replacement for your incompatible application, but be warned the prices will increase year on year and this service will stop in 2023.

Conclusion

By 14th January 2020 you will need to have done one of the following:

  • Upgraded your hardware – we recommend Surface as a Service
  • Upgraded to Microsoft 365
  • Purchased Extended Security Updates

To discuss things further or to proceed with any of the options, please get in touch using the form below.

Get in touch

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Please note: As of April 21st 2020, Office 365 plans for SMBs have adopted the Microsoft 365 brand name. In practice, this means:

Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic;

Office 365 Business Premium is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard;

Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium; and,

Office 365 Business AND Office 365 ProPlus are now Microsoft 365 Apps (for Business, and for Enterprise, respectively).

There are no changes to the cost or features in the plans as yet.