Today marks the last day that Microsoft will provide updates for the Windows 7 operating system. Depending on who you talk to, your computer may burst into flames OR it may continue to work perfectly for the next several years. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of that debate, the following three points are REALLY what the end of Windows 7 means:
Operating system updates are no longer optional
Like all your favorite cloud-based applications, you can't opt out of the changes that are made. The impact here is that you can't run the same old computer hardware and software until you decide to update it for a new model. This will no longer be in your control.
Legacy applications need to be replaced quickly.
Many vendors are using this as a reason to force their cloud versions. They are also not supporting or updating their Windows 7 based applications. If your business depends on legacy workstation based applications you could find yourself in a bind over the next year. This is especially true for custom applications written utilizing older operating system code bases.
New technology skills are required to manage your workstations.
Windows 10 depends on cloud services to work. Understanding Azure Active Directory, Multi-factor authentication, and Office 365 is now a requirement to get the most out of Windows 10. If you are still running local AD servers you need to have a plan to go cloud-based soon.
The end of Windows 7 is truly the end of an era. No longer do you purchase and own the operating system and hardware. Now you subscribe to an application (Windows 10) that also functions as your operating system. Finally the operating system is in alignment with the cloud-based model that many services and applications have been using for years….and that is a good thing!
Technical debt is a concept we have talked about in the past. The end of Windows 7 is going to call that debt due in many cases. To ensure your business can remain secure and productive find a partner that can put together a technology roadmap to get you on the right path!