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TECH IT to the LIMIT

Death. 

Do I have your attention? 

End of life… 

It’s a topic we want to avoid but at some point in our lives we will inevitably have to confront. What if you could know the date and time of your death? What would you do differently? What would you do to prepare? Today, we’re going to discuss a death. The death of Windows 7.  

 What do you need to know and what do you need to do to prepare? What a suitable topic for this Halloween season! But I digress. Sit back. Relax. And let the experts here at Computer Systems Plus take the guess work out of it for you and get you well on your way to dealing with the tragic death of a beloved operating system.  

So, what’s happening? 

Please don’t leave…

Like its predecessors, Windows 7 has reached the end of its road. Microsoft has decided that 7 has served its purpose and it’s time to move on. Like with Windows XP, we will all look back over our shoulder as we walk away from what was a solid entry in Microsoft’s long list of Windows iterations. And in that glance we give behind us, a sense of discomfort and unsureness may overwhelm us. But that does not have to be the case. With every ending is a new beginning, and that (sort of new) beginning is called “Windows 10”. 

Your days are numbered…

Starting January 14th, 2020, Windows 7 will become extinct. And I mean very extinct. Microsoft is dropping it like a bad habit and they’re not looking back. Caput. Finito! You pick your word, but Windows 7 is done. Microsoft will no longer officially support it and there will no longer be updates or security patches of any kind. Let me be clear. I am not aiming to vilify Microsoft in all of this. This is the normal progression of things. Technology grows and changes, and Microsoft, like any business, must keep up to stay competitive. “It’s the cost of doing business”, as they say. 

Why should I care?

Ah. Now that is a fantastic question. Windows 7 is probably working just fine on your machine and you’re wondering what the big deal is. Why spend money to “fix” something that isn’t broken. 

Let me ask you this? What are your thoughts on ransomware taking your business down? How much do you value the security of your information? What will your clients think if their personally identifiable information is suddenly held hostage by a malicious third party, or even lost?  

“I don’t need to worry about this. I’ve got anti-virus!” 

You know, that’s a solid argument, but what if I told you that you’re still not 100% secure even with anti-virus? Anti-virus is good as a bulwark to protect you from stray mouse clicks or an unwise galivant about the internet. We’ve all been there. But what if a threat doesn’t need to come from the web? What if a threat doesn’t even need your participation? Two words. Exploits. Backdoors. 

No matter how good a piece of software is, no matter how solid it’s programming, there will ALWAYS be vulnerabilities in the code, and these vulnerabilities often take the form of back doors into your network and operating system. A good hacker can find exploits in .NET or DirectX and walk right into your network and start doing as much harm as they see fit. All of this can happen, and you’d never even know until it’s too late. 

Therefore, Microsoft is constantly pestering us with updates. The majority of these are quality improvements and security patches, and they do matter. It matters not how safe you are online. If your system is connected to the internet and it’s not fully up to date, you are vulnerable and a potential target. 

Another problem with any piece of software is bugs. Little pesky mistakes in the code or an incompatibility with a piece of software can cause issues ranging from annoying, to system crashing. What if you get the final Windows update for Windows 7 and it just absolutely wreaks havoc on a piece of software your company needs, to operate? What do you do? Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. There are no more patches. There’s no more support. So, what do you do? You can uninstall the update, but then you’ve made your network vulnerable to attack.  

You’re in a Catch-22 at this point and if you don’t find an answer quickly, you’re going to start hemorrhaging money. If you let it get to this point, you’re going to lose money no matter what you do. It will be lost in time and manpower at the very least. 

Let’s say that you don’t run into quite as catastrophic of a scenario as the above, but another problem you’re going to face is end of support for Windows 7 versions of software and even hardware.  

How about another scenario?

It’s the end of the fiscal year. You have a budget surplus and you’ve been eyeing a shiny new copy machine. With excitement and glee, you purchase that bad boy, get it hooked up in the office and… wait…what’s wrong? What’s happening? It’s not working! You can’t even get your computer to see the copier, much less use it! There’s not a compatible driver and the generic one that Windows provides does not support the features the printer offers, that you really need. So, what do you do? All roads lead to needing to update to Windows 10. The question is, do you want to do it smoothly and methodically while there is still time, or do you want to wait until you have no choice and run the risk of it affecting your business? 

So, what’s it going to cost me? 

Why would you do this to us?!!

I can almost guarantee that this is the one question you care the most about. What’s the bottom line? What’s the damage? 

Unfortunately, this is not a question that I can address in this article. However! You pay us to take the guess work out of IT for you, so I’d like to encourage you to reach out to us by phone so that we can custom tailor a solution for you that will fit your budget and needs. (865) 573-5303. We’re here to make this transition as smooth as possible for you. I know it’s scary and I know its money that you probably don’t want to spend, but in the end, this is the ebb and flow of technology and it’s an expense we always need to be prepared for. Let’s work together on this and make the transition as easy and as affordable as possible. Let’s aim for 0 interruptions in your business operations and this whole thing being a barely noticeable “blip” on your radar. 

You made it!

Well folks, that’s it for this Halloween edition of Tech-IT to the Limit! I know it was a scary edition, but I hope it has left you a little more informed and that I’ve bolstered further confidence in why you do business with us. We’re here for you. We care about you and we will always do whatever we can to make sure you’re getting the service you deserve and expect. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of Tech-IT to the Limit, where I am going to discuss some options you are going to have for this transition to Windows 10. We’re going to cover upgrade options, and I am even going to give you the exact hardware specifications that are going to guarantee that you have a system that performs top-of-the-line, but also doesn’t break the bank. I’ll also give you some hardware tips that will give you more life out of your computer purchase. I call it “future-proofing.” You can buy exactly what you need now, but it’s never a bad idea to prepare for the future and go one step up. We’ll get a little more in-depth with that next week. Until then, never hesitate to reach out to us. Continue being awesome and in the immortal words of Spock: “Live long and prosper.” 

*To ensure that I’m bringing you accurate information, two sites were referenced for research purposes:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/i-like-windows-7-why-should-i-pay-to-move-to-windows-10/

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With Christ as our example of servant hood, our mission is to provide quality technical solutions through education, consultation, and support with the goal of establishing long-term beneficial partnerships.

 

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