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Microsoft has announced that it will start displaying pop-up messages on PCs still running Windows 7 from April 2019. The messages will remind users that Windows 7 will reach ‘end of life’ on 14 January 2020 and include a link to a dedicated website providing more information about what this means and the options available. There’ll be no specific mention of upgrading to Windows 10 within the messages themselves, although this is set out as the recommended option on the website.

Businesses using Windows 7, or who used it in the past, may recall similar messages appearing when Windows 10 first became available. However, after complaints that some of these were misleading and intrusive, Microsoft has decided to take a softer approach with the Windows 7 ‘end of life’ messaging.

The company’s Corporate Vice President of Windows, Matt Barlow, explains: ‘Beginning next month, if you are a Windows 7 customer, you can expect to see a notification appear on your Windows 7 PC. This is a courtesy reminder that you can expect to see a handful of times in 2019. These notifications are designed to help provide information only and if you would prefer not to receive them again, you’ll be able to select an option for “do not notify me again,” and we will not send you any further reminders.’

According to Windows Latest, around 40% of PCs around the world still operate Windows 7 and it’s unlikely that all of them will upgrade to Windows 10 before the January 2020 cut-off deadline. For this reason, Microsoft is running an Extended Security Update (ESU) scheme that offers business users up to three years of ongoing fixes.

Whilst this may sound like an attractive option, ESU comes at a per-device cost that will double in the second year of support and again in the third. The exception to this is companies switching to the Windows Virtual Desktop for Windows 7, who’ll get the ESU updates free of charge – although the licence fee and set-up costs will still apply.

Here at Jalapeno, we strongly recommend upgrading to the Windows 10 operating system rather than opting for ESUs. Spiralling costs aside, these updates simply won’t provide the same level of protection against viruses and other cyber threats as Windows 10 can offer.

On top of this, ESUs aren’t concerned with general updates and upgrades for your PCs, just security patches. This means your system performance will eventually start to decline, pushing up support costs and impacting on productivity and operational efficiency. You could also run into other problems, such as GDPR compliance issues and the withdrawal of third party software vendor support.

All these problems can be avoided with Windows 10, which provides automatic updates, regular system enhancements and sophisticated security features such as Advanced Threat Protection, identity management and biometric authentication. And you won’t even need to worry about getting to grips with a brand new desktop as, unlike the unpopular Windows 8, Windows 10 has been designed to look and operate similarly to Windows 7 – but better.

What to do next

Put simply, if you’re still using Windows 7 next month, Microsoft will start sending you reminder messages for a very good reason. Yes, there’ll be a cost involved in upgrading your PCs to Windows 10 as free licences are no longer available. But it’s not really about making money. Microsoft – and Jalapeno – are genuinely keen for your business to take advantage of the wealth of benefits offered by Windows 10.

So, if you haven’t taken any steps to upgrade from Windows 7 when the messages start appearing, please contact Jalapeno Business Services straightaway. As we explained in an article last month, upgrading to Windows 10 could be straightforward – or it might involve changing or replacing some of your systems. The sooner we’ve assessed your current set-up, the sooner we can give you a cost and timescale for getting your upgrade sorted.

Book a FREE systems audit with Jalapeno today

Our FREE IT audit will give you a clear picture of whether your systems and infrastructure are capable of meeting your current and future needs. As well as considering your operating system, we’ll look at your servers, network, printers, software applications and much more. We’ll also talk to your staff to get their feedback and ideas on what’s working well and what could be improved.

Of course, once we’ve made our recommendations, there’s no obligation to proceed with our services – so there’s nothing to lose by arranging an audit. Click here to book online today, or contact us by phone or email to discuss your requirements with an engineer.