Every few years, a cycle begins, what was once breathtaking and new is replaced by the next big thing. Some cycles are longer, some are shorter, but eventually everything has to bow out and pass the baton on to the new generation. The transition may be rough, but regardless of how you might miss the good old days, the only way is forward. However, despite the years passing, we don’t forget the old greats, such as VHS, Napster, Blockbuster and Manchester United.
Before long, one new name will join that list, a legend in no uncertain terms and loved by many, ladies and gentlemen, say goodbye to Windows 7.
R.I.P Windows 7, 22nd July 2009 – January 14th 2020
When I saw the news that Windows 7 would finally be heading to the great big Recycle Bin in the sky, I thought I was listening to some 80’s rock because, stop me, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this one before. And in a way, you would be right. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13th 2015, almost a full five years ago. Before this, Microsoft was providing security updates for emerging bugs as well as releasing design changes. Once mainstream support ended, this meant no new features, and no complimentary support (bug fixes and patches still continued).
Fast forward to January 14th, 2020. In three months, this “extended” period of support will end. Those bug fixes? No-one’s working on them anymore. Security patches? Good joke. Microsoft will only be supporting the few businesses that are willing to spend an absolute fortune on dedicated care (we’re talking giants like Barclays).
I’ll be fine without updates…. right?
Of course! Who needs them, surely? You know, just don’t do anything dodgy and you’ll be fine. Like, you could work for the NHS and…. you probably already know what I’m going to say.
Last July, a government report found that the NHS was putting itself at risk of a cyberattack by failing to update its computers from Windows 7. Six months before it’s death, and more than 75% percent of its computers still hadn’t made the switch. This came nine months after North Korean hackers shut down thousands of computers around the world using ransomware called WannaCry, costing the NHS £92 million (read more here). The main reason why the NHS was hit particularly hard? Out of date systems. The reality is, when the security patches stop, any and all new vulnerabilities that are found will no longer be fixed. Viruses like WannaCry are contagious, and Windows 7 will no longer be getting its flu shots. Year round, the NHS deals with things like chicken pox and hepatitis, only to brought to its knees by a computer virus. How ironic.
I was at the dentists a few weeks ago. When I saw what OS the computer was on, I knew it wasn’t just my teeth that needed a look at.
So, what does this mean for me?
Imagine having a headache, a cold, or a particularly bad cough (some of you won’t need to imagine, considering the season). I bet you would want to get rid of it if you had the option. You can remember what it was like without needing a constant supply of tissues and Ibuprofen. Now imagine what would happen if your computer was infected. I would not recommend sliding painkillers into the CD drive or pouring water on the case. Our computers need care just like us, and here’s what you will need to do.
- Get Updated – This will most likely mean a transition onto Windows 10. If you have a computer that’s a few years old on Windows 7, OTT’s rule of thumb is that a new computer will be the most cost-effective option in the long run.
- STAY Updated – Tech is always developing, and so are the potential threats. But it’s not all doom and gloom, Windows 10 receives new features and upgrades quite often, as well as the traditional security and quality of life patches. Updates will come through automatically, and weekly restarts will ensure they are installed.
- That’s It – It’s really that simple. Good old Windows updates and the much-improved Windows Defender do a lot to keep things secure for the typical home user. For other threats like malware (a type of software that can mess with your computer), consider software like Malwarebytes. Of course, if you’re in a business setting, you will probably want to go for a more heavy-duty solution.
At OTT, if we had a penny for every issue that was sorted with an update, we wouldn’t be as big as Microsoft, but we would have a lot of pennies. If you have any questions regarding your own computer set-up and getting updated to Windows 10, or even getting better pricing on some powerful new hardware for your office, our number is 020 3794 1414, alternatively you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the ever-revolving world of technology, we will be updating our blog on a monthly basis. Until next time!
Signed, Connor B from OTT