Support for Windows 7 is ending

March 6, 2019

On 14 January 2020 Microsoft will end support for Windows 7. Businesses operating laptops, PCs and EPOS devices running Windows 7 will have to move to Windows 10 to continue receiving patches and security updates.

Westlake advises businesses to review their PC Infrastructure well in advance of this deadline to understand if they are impacted.

Chris Apperley explains, “Some businesses may be able to upgrade their Windows 7 PCs to Windows 10, but only if they are compatible and it comes at a cost. Alternatively, they will need to buy a new device. As the majority of machines running Windows 7 will be greater than 5 years old, this is a good opportunity to refresh ageing hardware too.”

While businesses can continue to install and use Windows 7 after the End of Support deadline, they will no longer be protected by security updates and therefore will be more susceptible to security breaches and viruses. Just one device running an unpatched version of Windows 7 on a network could open up other machines to security breaches.

Chris Apperley adds, “When you have a network with lots of machines all connected to it, viruses can spread quickly and easily. One unpatched machine could cause issues for your whole business if it became compromised so the risks of retaining Windows 7 machines post end of support are considerable.”

Westlake IT urge businesses to review their PCs and network infrastructure and plan accordingly. Should a business need to purchase new devices it’s important to be able to manage that process cost effectively and to minimise disruption. Another important consideration will be the impact Brexit may have on the PC supply chain. Businesses should factor in the potential for increased costs, low stock availability and increased waiting times post 29 March.

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