Why MSPs Need to be Upgrading Their Users to Windows 10

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Network Operations Center | Collabrance Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dec 10, 2019

Image Above: Vince Bower, Service Desk Network Engineer, helps another technician in the NOC at Collabrance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Why MSPs Update Their End-User's Equipment Regularly

Keeping your machines up to date is important for many different reasons. However, IT professionals around the world would agree one of the most important reasons is security. Patches and updates are frequently released because a vendor has realized there is a vulnerability in the hardware or software. As these updates are rolled out, they can cause instability on how the operating system (OS) will work with various drivers. For this reason, most managed service providers (MSPs) push updates on a scheduled basis.

MSPs are Gearing up for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 End-of-Life (EOL)

The upcoming end-of-life date for the Windows 7 OS and Windows Server 2008 is well known in the MSP channel. Microsoft announced January 14, 2020 as the date they would stop supporting the outdated software. Since the announcement, MSPs have been trying to come up with the best upgrade strategies for customers. However, many businesses are still relying on these older operating systems.

Why You Should Update Your Client's Machines Now

Many businesses are wondering why upgrading to Windows 10 is so important. We live in a time of many different types of security concerns. It is more important now than ever to make sure all of our devices stay up to date. The critical security advancements these updates contain help your computer and network run safely. As more vulnerabilities are found in hardware and software, more updates are produced.

Windows 7 and Server 2008 (along with other Microsoft products) have an EOL date on January 14, 2020.

EOL means Microsoft will no longer be releasing publicly accessible patches and updates for those platforms.

However, Microsoft has recently announced they are now offering an Extended Security Update (ESU) program as a last resort option for customers who are not on Windows 10 yet. These ESU options are paid and will ultimately expire in 3 years.

What if a Computer is on Windows 7 and Not Enrolled in the Microsoft ESU Program?

If there is another security vulnerability found on any machine running this OS, Microsoft will not support it if they are not enrolled. These vulnerabilities could allow the opportunity for hackers and cybercriminals to breach your security and do whatever they would like. Many people think it will not happen to them. However, the chances of being attacked are higher than ever.

Think about it this way, if you knew the locks on your house were going to stop working in a month, what would you do? In my mind, you have two logical options.

  1. Ignore the fact your house is not going to be secure. You are taking a gamble and hoping no one or nothing breaks in.
  2. Proactively replace the locks before the old ones stop working. This allows you to make sure your house is more secure in the event someone or something tries to break in.

Why MSPs Need to be Proactive about Upgrading their Users From Windows 7

MSPs know this EOL date is quickly approaching and have many of their end users still using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. These end users are becoming more aware of cybersecurity issues and how important these types of updates are. However, most of them are not experts in IT. For this reason, they have hired you, the MSP or MSSP. They are counting on their IT service provider to mitigate risk and protect them from malware, data loss and other computer related issues.

MSPs are expected to help protect their clients from “the bad guys.”
Staying in front of potential security issues is the best way to mitigate risk. By proactively upgrading your client’s to Windows 10, you are avoiding the potential compromise of their business.

Ultimately, MSPs who still have clients using Windows 7 have 4 options:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Enroll each device in Microsoft's Extended Security Updates (ESU) program.
  3. Migrate their client’s to Windows 10.
  4. Work with a Master MSP to help you gain more opportunities.

MSPs Gain Opportunity by Upgrading Their Users to Windows 10

If you are an established MSP, you likely have clients who are still using Windows 7 and/or Windows Server 2008. Upgrading them to Windows 10 poses a lot of opportunity for hardware upgrades and installation services. This type of project work can be a great way to boost revenue. Click here to see what kind of opportunities you have with our Windows 7 EOL Estimate Calculator.

Start Talking to Your Client’s About Windows 10

As an MSP, proactively keeping your clients up to date and secure is part of what you do. Don’t wait for your end users to come to you for a Windows 10 upgrade. To help you get the conversation started we created a free Windows 7 Communications Toolkit. Use these marketing materials to help you educate your clients and get them secured.


Tags: security
Category: Technology

About The Author

Vince Bower

Vince Bower, Network Engineer, Tier 3 technician primarily responsible for Fortinet Firewall and Server assistance. Prior to joining Collabrance in 2013, Vince worked for a local IT company providing desktop and server support for 13 years. Prior to this Vince worked in the wireless communications industry. Vince is A+ and Fortinet NSE4 certified.