Posted by: on June 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm

When the WannaCry ransomware was still fresh in the news, a friend of ours mused via Twitter: “Why do people stay on Windows 7?”

That’s a good question, especially when you learn that more than 95% of the computers affected by WannaCry were running Windows 7. A stable replacement – Windows 10 – has been out for almost two full years already. Microsoft even offered it as a free upgrade for almost the entire first year.

But people love Windows 7. We had a hard time getting people to upgrade away from XP because it was the first really stable Microsoft desktop operating system. People knew it and trusted it. Windows 7 also had a very stable initial release, and people are familiar with the interface and that it “just works.”

That’s one key reason businesses stay with older operating systems. Sometimes operating system updates and upgrades do, in fact, “break” other things on the network, and companies know they won’t have the time, or knowledge, or staff to fix it if that happens. No one wants to be dead in the water with a broken network because they moved to the newest thing too quickly.

Another challenge we see is niche software that hasn’t been updated to run on modern Windows OS. Often, it’s tied to specific machinery that can’t be updated. Or it was developed by a small, specialized programming company that no longer exists. In that case, updating the operating system is far more complicated than popping in a disk and waiting a couple of hours.

It’s easy to think, “Just update already!” but we understand that updates and upgrades aren’t necessarily easy options. Sure, we’d love everyone to be on the latest, updated, most secure technology, but that isn’t always simple.

Still, operating system upgrades are a fact of computer life. A measured and planned approach can help minimize downtime and keep your network secure.

Microsoft will stop issuing security updates for Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020. Start planning now for its replacement – 30 months will go by quickly. Windows 10 will probably still be around; Microsoft plans for ongoing incremental updates instead of the big upgrades we’ve had in the past.

If you need help keeping your computer network up to date, or if you know you have an upgrade project on the horizon, give us a call or fill out the form at the right. We’d love to help you out!

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