On January 14th, 2020, Windows 7 goes “End-of-Life” with Microsoft. This means that Microsoft will no longer be releasing security patches or critical updates to the Windows 7 operating system.
If you have Windows 7 machines in your environment, this is a deadline that is rapidly approaching and cannot be ignored without significant risk. Unpatched computers pose a security risk and when you have an operating system (such as Windows 7) for which there are no longer patches available, you are not only exposed to threats but you are exposed to threats that are extremely well-known and very attractive targets to attackers.
Your options break down along four paths:
Your first option is to upgrade your Windows 7 computers to Windows 10. If your computers are less than three (3) years, have at least 8GM of RAM, an SSD (Solid State Drive) and an i5 Processor or better, then this may be a great option for you. Note, however, that the upgrade process is time-consuming and requires research in your licensing options and path upgrades.
If your Windows 7 computers are more than three (3) years old and/or do not have the minimum hardware specifications outlined above, we recommend replacing the computers. If you are a nonprofit with a 501c3, you can purchase low-cost refurbished Windows 10 desktops and laptops from Techsoup. You can browse Techsoup’s line of refurbished computers here: https://www.techsoup.org/hardware.
Brand new computers from well-regarded manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo and HP will run anywhere from $500 to well over $1,000 depending on whether you need desktops or laptops and what hardware you choose.
If the Windows 7 computers in your environment are not needed, for example you have ten (10) older Windows 7 computers you keep as spares, you can decommission them. This means wiping the computers and/or having them picked up by a certified electronics recycler. In New York, we have had good experiences withPro-Tek.
It is possible to extend the support for your Windows 7 computers by purchasing an extended support license. Pricing can vary, but it is most likely to cost $50 per machine for one year of extended support to January 2021. An additional year will cost an additional $100 per machine. Microsoft and RoundTable both suggest this is only a last-resort option. This incurs costs for your organization ($50 per Windows 7 computer) with virtually no benefit other then to “kick the can” down the road for your inevitable need to rid your environment of Windows 7 machines.
*Extended support is NOT available for Windows 7 Home
Learn More & Microsoft FAQ
Talk to Us!
If you have any questions about Windows 7 End-Of-Life and would like help deciding what is best for your organization, please reach out. Our team members would be happy to discuss your options and help you make a decision that works for your organization.