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Head of information technology at Activ Technology, John Prescott, urges Microsoft users to start planning for the end of Windows support in 2020.

Are you still using Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Small Business Server 2008, Windows Small Business Server 2011 or Exchange 2010? If so, now is the time to begin looking at a migration strategy as they all come to the end of support in January 2020.

What does this mean for users?

It is important that users know that when a product comes to the end of its life organisations should look to make necessary changes. Companies that miss the deadline will face repercussions such as holes in security which can leave them vulnerable to security breaches and potential data loss.

According to NetApplications, Windows 7 remains popular with its users, with just under 40% of the market share and remains the most installed OS on the market.

Organisations may wish to use their existing software. However, as they will no longer receive any further updates from Microsoft this can leave them open to potential threats.

As such, the responsibility is down to companies to make necessary changes. So, what are the options when Windows stops its extended support?

Now is the time to consider the various options such as upgrading the hardware so that it includes the latest software or upgrade the existing software to the latest version with in-place upgrade or software rebuild. It is important to know how old your equipment is when making this assessment. If your hardware shipped with Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 then it’s probably due to be replaced which is often a more cost effective way to upgrade overall. Sometimes that isn’t the case however, as many businesses purchased PCs with Windows 7 with downgrade rights so that they didn’t have to use Windows 8/8.1. These machines may well be capable of running Windows 10. As a guideline the typical shelf life of IT equipment is five years before manufacturer support goes end of life or parts become difficult to source for repairs.

Here at Activ Technology we can provide a complete assessment of a customer’s Microsoft estate and our in-house team can handle an integrated process of ordering supported licences and updating the machines in question.

We are working with existing IT support customers for whom we have proactively identified software that is about to come to the end of its life. Our designated account managers have been tasked with contacting customers to discuss upgrading and will look to implement upgrades taking time and pressure away from the customer.

It is crucial that you do not allow your infrastructure and data to go unprotected and by assessing your specific company needs we are able to offer risk assessments, strategy and migration support to an upgraded solution as well as ongoing IT assistance.

To find out more about the services Activ Technology can offer, please visit: http://www.helloactiv.co.uk/


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