Like many Microsoft products, Windows 7 came with a predetermined support timeline. The conventional mainstream support for Microsoft’s operating system stopped developing Windows 7 updates on January 13, 2015. This means that Microsoft no longer provides bug fixes and security updates for the operating system.
With that in mind, the company will still provide some security patches through the extended support phase. This extended support period will run until January 14, 2020. After this date, there will be no more security fixes and updates thereby marking the official Windows 7 End of Life.
However, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from using Windows 7 even after its End of Life. But you should know that using an outdated operating system makes your computer vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
For instance, many organizations that stayed with Windows XP long after the expiry of its lifecycle suffered serious cyber attacks from infamous hackers like the WannaCry ransomware. There’s a good chance that attackers are already working on how they can exploit the vulnerabilities that will be created when Microsoft ends their extended support period for Windows 7.
Why Microsoft has to end Windows 7 support
Microsoft has a policy stipulating how the life of a product starts and how it ends. Normally, the life of a Microsoft product begins when it is released into the market and ends when the company stops providing support. This is how Microsoft OS lifecycles start and end.
More importantly, Microsoft needs to sell its latest operating systems, which are Windows 8 and Windows 10. To do that effectively, they must preside over the death of the older operating systems. The tech giant has already started blocking updates through some machines so it may be necessary to start preparing now for the eventuality that you may not be able to get any new updates.
What Windows 7 End of Life means to you
You’ll be using the product at your own risk. This means that Microsoft will not take responsibility for loss of data due to security breaches on Windows 7. Without regular patches and security updates, you’re basically at the mercy of hackers.
Preparing for Windows 7 End of Life
Windows 10 gets regular patches and updates to keep it secure. It will install on most devices and machines with no problems or issues, but Microsoft does have a vast array of help and support documents on their website in case you run into trouble.
For enterprise upgrades, it’s best to seek the help of an IT professional. This is a good way to ensure that everything is upgraded correctly and that all firewalls and antivirus are in place and working optimally. Depending on what type of hardware and software you’re using, you may need to take specific steps to make sure everything is fully compatible.
Windows Server 2008 end of life means that Microsoft will no longer improve the product, accept warranty claims, or provide non-security hotfixes. This is known as mainstream support.
It will continue to offer bug fixes and security updates through extended support.
This means that it is still ok to use Windows Server 2008 as long as you don’t need the services specific to mainstream support.
When Do You Need to Change Out Your Operating System By?
You will need to change out your operating system by January 14, 2020. At the minimum, we recommend six months before that.
This is when Windows will no longer offer bug fixes and security updates through extended support and your data will now be relatively unprotected.
Why 2020 Windows Server 2008 End of Life Needs to be the Real ‘End’
After End of Life, the creator no longer provides anything new for the product. This means that any bug fixes or features cease to be released.
It also means that new vulnerabilities or holes in security will be left open to attack without a software update to remedy the weaknesses.
What to Do Before the Windows Server 2008 Extended Support Ends in 2020
The first order of business is to upgrade to a new operating system. You may consider an infrastructure update to take advantage of new virtualization features in modern operating systems.
If you are considering waiting until the last minute to update your 2008 Windows Servers we highly recommend leaving six months of leeway between your projected finish date and January 14, 2020. Your data and security are too important to put at that kind of risk.
What About End of Life for Different Windows Server Editions?
There are sixteen Windows Server 2008 products, and mainstream support ended for all of them on January 13th, 2015. However, newer versions of Windows Server like Windows Server 2012 have a different EoL date.
Windows extended support will continue until January 14th, 2020 for all of them. Extended support for any OS is provided by Microsoft five years after mainstream support ends.
Because of the release of Windows Server 2012, mainstream support for Windows Server 2008 was pushed back two years, as well as extended support for each of its 2008 server offerings.
Is it Still Safe to Use My Windows Server 2008 After End of Life?
While it is after the Windows Server 2008 End of Life date in 2015, you can still safely use it in your server environment until the extended support expires.
We all dislike change; it’s just normal. But when it comes to something important like your operating system, your company and staff will benefit by having the latest Microsoft products installed. Each year, all-new features are added to Windows operating systems to make them easier to use and give users a better experience. Once your team knows how to use all these great features, they can save time while producing better documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint displays and such.