Microsoft Has Begun the Farewell to Windows 7

The clock is ticking on Windows 7 machines. Microsoft will continue to provide security updates for most Windows 7 PCs through January 14, 2020, but that’s less than a year and a half away. And Microsoft has already discontinued support for machines with older Intel processors.

Streaming single instructions multiple data extensions 2 (SSE2), which improves performance by enabling computer chipsets to process multimedia in parallel, has been a mandatory feature for processors running Windows since 2012. However, many organizations are still using PCs with old Intel processors that don’t support SSE2, and users have been experiencing errors. Although it was reported that a fix was in the works, Microsoft is now giving users two options – upgrade to a PC with a processor that supports SSE2 or virtualize those PCs. Upgrading is likely the better option.

Windows 7 will turn nine years old in October. Despite the gray hairs, Windows 7 actually gainedmarket share in March and April of this year and still runs on 47.3 percent of all Windows PCs. Windows 10, far from a spring chicken at three years old, lags behind at 39.3 percent.

Many users are clinging to Windows 7 after the debacle that was Windows 8, and some just like Windows 7 better than Windows 10. But Microsoft seems to be taking steps to steer users towards Windows 10.Windows 7 updates and patches have become more complex, larger and, therefore, more bandwidth-intensive. In addition to cutting off support for machines that don’t support SSE2, the Microsoft team stopped answering Windows 7 questions in Microsoft Community forums.

If you still have Windows 7 machines in your environment, it’s time to develop an upgrade strategy. Support options have been slashed, and security updates and extended support will be going away relatively soon. Fortunately, Windows 10 has been around long enough to allow for bugs to be fixed and security holes to be plugged. We also have data to back up Microsoft’s claim that Windows 10 is more secure than Windows 7.

A recent report from Webroot found that just 15 percent of known malware files in 2017 were found on Windows 10 systems. More than four times as many (63 percent) were found on Windows 7 systems. For example, the vast majority of victims of the WannaCry ransomware attack were running Windows 7, while Windows 10 users escaped unscathed. These findings make sense as hackers have had a longer time to identify vulnerabilities in Windows 7 and formulate attack strategies.

In addition to advantages in security, Windows 10 was designed to deliver better performance, boot faster and recognize significantly more RAM. Of course, it’s no mistake that Windows 10 looks and feels a lot like Windows 7 – with only the slightest resemblance to Windows 8.

SSD can help your organization manage the inevitable upgrade to Windows 10 before Windows 7 support runs out and risk runs high. We account for application compatibility, workflows, performance, security, and any IT-related bottlenecks as part of this process. Let us help you develop and execute a non-disruptive upgrade strategy that will allow you to take advantage of the full benefits of Windows 10.