Windows 7 and Server 2008 will go out of support on January 14, 2020 and Office 2010 ends life October 13 2020. If your organisation has not yet started thinking about migration to a more up to date system, you should take action now.
In 2002 Microsoft introduced its Support Lifecycle policy based on customer feedback to have more transparency and predictability of support for their products. As per this policy, Microsoft Business products, including Windows operating systems, Office and Server products receive a minimum of 10 years of support (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), at the supported service pack level.
Based on historical customer deployment data, it can take weeks, if not months to migrate systems to newer versions. To ensure you remain on supported versions of Windows and Office you should begin your planning and application testing immediately to ensure you deploy before end of support or as soon as possible thereafter.
It means you should take action now. After January 14, 2020, there will be no new security updates or non- security hotfixes, published and distributed by Microsoft.
Running Windows 7, Office 2010 or Server 2008 after their end of support date may expose your company to Security & Compliance Risks, as unsupported and unpatched systems are more vulnerable to attack. This could result in an external breach of your network, receipt of malicious programs via email, or an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.
Getting current with Windows and Office has upsides well beyond keeping you supported. It offers more flexibility to empower employees to be more productive, while increasing operational efficiency through improved PC security and management. It also enables people within your organization to take advantage of latest technology trends such as virtualization and the cloud.
There are several actions that you can take, each will be dependent upon the specific circumstances within your organization. Whether you choose to replace existing infrastructure or begin shifting services to the cloud the important point is that you take action now to safeguard your business.
PCs running Windows 7: If you have PCs still running a Windows 7 operating system or
Office 2010, these machines will now be of a significant age and there is a good chance that you may have been considering their replacement for some time; act now. Businesses that don’t take pre-emptive action to replace these aging machines and applications will be left with a legacy system that lacks support. Even with the continued “third party” support from external organizations such as LSA Systems, the fact that there will be no security updates published and distributed by Microsoft means that your business could be exposed to potential security breaches, may have the inability to run newer versions of business critical software and, where applicable, will fail to meet the requirements of official bodies such as the FSA, PCI, Cyber Essentials and GDPR.
Servers running 2008: End of Life for the Windows Server 2008 operating system means
that even with third party support from organizations such as LSA Systems, there will be no security updates published and distributed by Microsoft meaning that, at some stage, your Server system could become open to those who wish harm to businesses in general, or your business specifically; it is simply a matter of time.