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Windows 7 turn off sparks security pitches

The end of support has finally arrived and the spectre of rising security risks is likely to be a boon for the channel

The moment when support for Windows 7 is turned off has finally arrived giving the channel a chance to drive the migration message home with customers.

Microsoft has made it clear for a while that support was going to be turned off today and remained on that timetable even when it became clear that the major hardware players were having difficulties sourcing components thanks to delays with Intel's CPUs.

There continues to be a sizeable base of users that have yet to move away from Windows 7 onto 10 and that should provide the channel with a lot of targets to go after with the strongest pitches being around the need for increased security for those that linger on the unsupported OS.

“For businesses, there’s no excuse for not migrating from the (now out-of-support) Windows 7 to Windows 10. Microsoft has been generous in the amount of time it has provided support for Windows 7 since it ended mainstream support in 2015. On top of this, businesses cannot claim that the switch to Windows 10 is a downgrade—the new OS has great features, and compatibility isn’t an issue," said Tim Brown, vp of security, SolarWinds.

"The industry hasn’t been building Windows 7 applications for five years, preparing for its end of life. Every other business should have been just as prepared. The reality is that Windows 7 is still being used by a significant portion of businesses today, and will continue to be used tomorrow. Any device that’s still running Windows 7 needs to be treated as a higher security risk," he added.

It seems that the security message is going to be the most compelling one to use on those users that are showing resistance to change.

"Staying up to date with operating systems and patching is the simplest and most important security practice to follow. There are countless examples of cyber-attacks and breaches that could have been avoided simply by staying on top of important software updates," said Databarracks’ managing director Peter Groucutt.

“Microsoft is offering Extended Security Updates (ESU) to businesses still using Windows 7 through to 2023. This ESU is charged per device and the price will increase each year. This helps but software providers will stop supporting their application on Windows 7, so our recommendation is to update to Windows 10 as quickly as possible," he added.

On its support site Microsoft also spelled out the need for users to make a move away from Windows 7: "The specific end of support day for Windows 7 will be January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product."

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