It took until last month for Windows 10 to finally overtake Windows 7’s usage share but the older OS remains hugely popular. Mainstream support for Windows 7 stopped in January 2015, but users have continued to receive security fixes and patches for known issues as part of Microsoft’s extended support, which runs for five years. However, that’s due to come to an end on January 14 2020, exactly one year from today.
The cessation of support could prove a nightmare for enterprises, as according to a new ‘Death of Windows 7’ report from content delivery firm, Kollective, as many as 43 percent of enterprises are still running Microsoft’s nine-year-old operating system.
Kollective’s research found that 17 percent of IT departments were unsure when the end of support deadline is, while 6 percent were aware of the end of support but had yet to start planning for their migration away from Windows 7.
Not that Windows 7 is the oldest OS to be found on enterprise machines. According to Kollective, 16 percent of IT professionals admit to still running Windows XP and Windows Vista, despite support for these having ended more than three years ago.
Dan Vetras, CEO of Kollective said: “With only a year to go, these findings should be a major cause for concern among the business community. When it came to migrating away from Windows XP it took some large enterprises as long as three years to transfer their entire systems to the new operating system, now, many firms will have to make the transition in less than 12 months. Those that fail to do so will have to pay for extended support, with the largest organizations paying more than a million dollars a year in order to remain on Windows 7.”
Enterprises, with 10,000 or more terminals would need to pay Microsoft in excess of $1.4m a year to continue to receive support for Windows 7.
Vetras adds, “Most worrying of all is that this migration is just the first step. Once businesses are on Windows 10, they will need to continuously update their systems as part of Microsoft’s new ‘Windows as a Service’ model. This means distributing increasingly frequent updates across their systems — something many IT departments will find impossible due to outdated infrastructure.”
Are you and/or your business still running Windows 7? If so, what are your plans for when extended support ends next year?