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On Jan. 14, 2020, Windows 7 will enter its End-of-Life phase. This means Microsoft will no longer offer updates, patches, or IT support for Windows 7. If your company’s network is still using Windows 7, a managed IT service provider can help you upgrade to Windows 10 or select a different operating system. Here are some facts about Windows 7’s End-of-Life phase and how it will affect your network.

What Is the Current State of Windows 7?

Since July 2015, Windows 7 has been in a state of Extended Support, which means Microsoft stopped offering new features for it and warranty claims on the operating system became invalid. Extended Support is a phase of the Microsoft lifecycle that occurs after a product’s Mainstream Support has ended. During the Extended Support phase, however, Microsoft continues offering system updates, including security updates and patches. This support will end when Windows 7 enters its End-of-Life phase in January.

What Does Windows 7’s End of Life Mean for My Network?

When Windows 7 enters its End-of-Life phase next year, you can still use it as an operating system, but this will leave your network open to any new threats that emerge. Since Windows 7 users will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft, they will be using a system that may not be able to protect their data. This could create major problems for your network and impede your company’s ability to take disaster recovery measures if your systems are attacked by viruses or other threats.

How Can I Protect My Network If I’m Using Windows 7?

The best way to protect your network is to update it to Windows 10. Microsoft states that the ability to download Microsoft 10 for free ended on July 29, 2016, so you will have to pay for the upgrade, but that will allow you to continue to use Windows on your network while giving you access to current security updates. Alternatively, you could switch to a different operating system if you are dissatisfied with your Windows service.

If you’re considering updating to Windows 10 or moving to a new operating system, you can employ a managed IT services company, such as Stability Networks, to oversee the switch. This type of company can oversee the new system’s installation and offer you managed security services so your data remain protected.

Managing the Windows 7 Transition

As the Windows 7 End-of-Life phase approaches, you will have to determine what the best operating system transition will be for your business. Whether that’s moving to Windows 10 or switching to a new system, Stability Networks can help you make the move. As a managed IT services company, we can work with all of your technology vendors, including Windows, and we can make sure your transition away from Windows 7 is a smooth one. We can also perform network monitoring and oversee your security updates and data management. If you’re looking for IT services in Boise, Idaho, that offer scalable services to meet your business’s mission and budget, contact us today.