Every so often it’s important to review your technology infrastructure to make sure things are running smoothly and everything is current. That’s not only standard practice, it’s also smart business.
This is especially important if you are using Microsoft products or solutions as a part of your operation. Microsoft has a well-planned life cycle for each of its products, along with different levels of support depending on when a product was released.
You’ll know well in advance if support for a product is ending, so plan around that information. It should be a part of every business’ security policy to check for these expirations at least once a year.
The Microsoft support life cycle
Microsoft guarantees it will support each of its major product releases for 10 years: 5 years of “Mainstream Support” and 5 years of “Extended Support.”
This is the period of the life cycle when Microsoft sends security patches, makes design changes, and honors warranty claims.
With products as complex as operating systems and the like, there are still kinks to work out and improvements discovered that even the most rigorous quality control and beta testing can’t catch. For this reason, Microsoft delivers their tweaks and improvements for 5 years. They want to stand by their product and give you the most value possible.
When a product moves into the Extended Support period, Microsoft ceases to provide complimentary support.
They don’t abandon the product, but no new features are added. It’s considered a complete product, with only bug fixes and security patches on the horizon.
At the end of the 10-year cycle, Microsoft will stop providing support for a product — plain and simple. As with Windows 95 and other legacy products, you’re on your own at this point.
While your product can still function, you can’t count on it to be secure or reliable on any sort of extended timeline. This can introduce a major vulnerability into your network security plan.
This will soon be the case with Windows 7 products, Windows Server 2008/2008 R2, and Office 2010 as well as some others, with the soonest ceasing support in July 2019. If your core platform is running on borrowed time, the time to begin planning for an upgrade to more modern technology is now.
So what now?
Microsoft has released Windows Server 2019 for your server deployments as well as Windows 10 and Office 365, in addition to other products and services.
In addition, Microsoft has switched to a Windows-as-a-Service model. The idea is to not only make sure that Windows is 10 more secure and consistent but also to make it easier for IT professionals to deploy and maintain it for their teams.
You don’t have to take on this major technology shift alone.
IT professionals have seen this coming for a little while now and have the answers to your questions ready to go. We expect a huge amount of Windows 7 upgrade requests near the end of the year. Our hope is to have all of our clients moved to Windows 10 before September to ensure a smooth transition for your business.