Image Above: Collabrance Team Members in the Help Desk and NOC discuss plans to help MSPs keep customers information safe.
End of Life (EOL) for Windows 7 means on January 14, 2020, Microsoft will discontinue all support including paid support, and all updates, including security updates.
Currently, the Windows 7 Operating System (OS) is in an in-between phase known as “Extended Support.” During this time, Microsoft is offering paid support and will continue to provide security updates, but not any design and feature updates. Even though Microsoft says it will support Windows 7 until January 2020, it began blocking older machines, such as those using Pentium III, in June 2018. Microsoft can block support for any machine at any time so users should plan on upgrading to Windows 10 as soon as possible.
"End of Life" in the technology industry, is the date after which an application is no longer supported by the company who makes it. After Windows 7 EOL, you can continue to use the OS, but at your own risk.
New computer viruses and other malware are developed all the time and, without the security updates to fight them off, your data and your system are vulnerable.
Instead of using an old and unsupported operating system, MSPs are helping users upgrade to Microsoft’s most recent OS. Windows 10 is faster than Windows 7 and provides a number of other useful benefits. There are differences between the two interfaces but, as a Windows user, there are similarities which will help you get up to speed quickly. Windows 10 offers better performance, and will be supported by the help desk once Windows 7 EOL comes in January 2020.
Users should plan on upgrading their devices as soon as possible and be running Windows 10 before Windows 7 loses support. Key benefits include updates and security patches for devices to keep you protected from the bad guys, and new features and applications to keep you productive throughout the day.
The #1 reason to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 10? Security.
If a new virus or vulnerability is found for Windows 7 after its EOL, Microsoft will not come out with a fix and you could be at risk of losing data on your PC or allowing a virus onto your network. Your data may be at risk and the “bad guys” could use your device to gather information stored on your PC such as credit cards numbers or other personal information that could lead to identity theft.
For businesses, consider using an IT professional like a Managed Service Provider to safely migrate your technology and information. They have the experience, knowledge, processes and tools to transition your technology from Windows 7.
End users are becoming more and more aware to the Windows 7 EOL date approaching and turning to knowledgeable MSPs to help them get their businesses upgraded. MSPs have three options: Do nothing, migrate the customers yourself, or work with a Master MSP to help you more gain opportunities.
Windows 7 EOL is an opportunity to capture more project work, and MSPs should be having these conversations regularly.
There is a huge opportunity in your current customer base. Customers need hardware and installation services. Click here to estimate your opportunity with our Windows 7 EOL Calculator.
All current customers should be upgraded immediately. If you haven’t discussed this during your quarterly business reviews (QBR), proactively reach out to them to discuss plans for Windows 7 EOL.
MSP Windows 7 EOL Checklist
For prospective new customers and leads, spread awareness through your marketing efforts that you’re helping other businesses with Windows 7, and you can help them too.
As an IT professional, don’t wait for an end user to ask about Windows 7. To help you proactively communicate the urgency with end users, we created a special Windows 7 Toolkit Campaign.
Hunter Mulnix, Service Activation Support Specialist at Collabrance, is responsible for onboarding new Service Providers and Subscribers. Hunter was previously a User Support Specialist for the Help Desk, and recently moved to the Service Activation Team. Hunter earned his Network and Systems Administration degree from Kirkwood Community College and his Business Administration degree from Coe College.