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Nov 6 2019 | James Gibson

Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 and SBS 2011

The end of 2019 feels surprisingly close now, and two weeks in to the new year will see the end of support from Microsoft for two of its Operating Systems – Windows 7 (for computers) and SBS 2011 (for servers).

Windows 7 is now over 10 years old – which is ancient in the world of technology! A surprisingly high number of UK businesses still use this Operating System, despite Microsoft having warned that Windows 7 cannot keep up with all of today’s cyber security threats.

Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 and SBS 2011Newer Operating Systems, such as Windows 10, not only have a broader range of security features, they also support many more of today’s applications.

The options facing businesses which still have some Windows 7 machines, are to upgrade the Operating System on those devices, or to buy new hardware.

Whilst the first option may sound preferable, there is still a cost attached to an upgrade. Moreover, because Windows 7 computers are likely to be relatively old themselves by now, they may well be slowing down the productivity of a business – meaning that replacement might be the better option.

Either way, before you either upgrade or replace the Operating System, it is important to consider all the software packages that you use within your business, to ensure compatibility. Although an increasing amount of software is now fully integrated with Windows 10, some industry-specific applications may not be – especially if you are using one of their older versions.

Small Business Server 2011 comprises an amalgamation of elements – some of which are even older than 2011. When Microsoft’s support for this ends, updates and patches (fixes) will no longer be rolled out, which will open users up to vulnerabilities.

Considerations when researching alternative solutions

There are several aspects to be considered when deciding on an alternative solution, such as:

  • What does your server currently hold?
  • Does it run your accounting software or industry software?
  • Are the software packages becoming out of date and if so, what other options might be appropriate? Is there a cloud alternative?
  • Do you keep data on the server drives, in a folder and file structure which has been in place for many years?
  • Would it be beneficial to move your data into a secure cloud environment which would not rely on hardware in your premises, and would enable access from other locations?
  • Is your server running software for a telephone system which might be reaching the end of its life?

Some businesses will require a replacement on-premise server, to run the same software as the old one did. Some, on the other hand, may view the server end-of-life as a trigger to move all applications into the cloud.

Others may decide that migrating everything into the cloud is not yet an appropriate option, perhaps due to specific software requirements. In that case, a “hybrid” set-up may be the right solution – combining cloud and on-premise solutions.

How HJS Technology can help

For a free consultation about the most appropriate technology solutions for your business, please contact the team on 0808 1644 222 or email technology@hjssolutions.co.uk.

For the latest insights on technology solutions for business, see the HJS Technology website.