It’s the day that most of us have been fearing: Microsoft has started the 3-year countdown on Windows 7, and has even stated publicly that the firmly-entrenched operating system is too outdated to secure properly. Released in 2009, Windows 7 is still very widely used throughout the world, and despite Microsoft’s best (and sometimes overbearing) efforts, Windows 10 has only managed to secure just under 20% of the worldwide PC market. You might be surprised to learn that Microsoft ended free support of 7 in 2015, and will retire the OS officially in 2020 when it ends support for enterprise customers as well.
What this means for you:
Some of you have already waded into Windows 10 waters (albeit involuntarily in many cases), and though the transitions weren’t always harmonious, if you are working on relatively new hardware, you are actually better off in the long run than your Windows 7 compatriots. Though we’ve all heard Microsoft say that Windows 10 modern software architecture makes it more secure, recent reports indicate that the Anniversary update version of Windows 10 (August 2016) was able to mitigate two zero-day exploits without specific patches to address the security flaws. Independent corroboration of this feat will go a long way to convincing die hard 7 proponents, but for those who deal in long-term planning, you should start the work to migrate your office to Windows 10 now. Depending on the nature of your work and the applications and services on which you rely, a lot of preparation is required to switch to Windows 10. If Microsoft is telling the truth about Windows 7 deteriorating defenses, it could be the next XP in terms of vulnerability and liability.
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