Microsoft End Mainstream Windows 7 Support

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January 13th 2015 marked the end of Microsoft’s “mainstream support” for Windows 7. They will be maintaining “extended support” until January 14th 2020. I asked Mark James, ESET security specialist, about Microsoft ending support and the upcoming Windows 10 OS.

But as Mark points out “5 years is not very long when it comes to preparing an organisation to have a new stable operating system, particularly considering how many companies still have XP even now after MS stopped supporting it.”Initially 5 years seems like a long time and for home users it is. You might well buy a new Laptop or PC that runs Windows 10 sometime between its release and support for Windows 7 ending completely.


“Benefits and advantages…”


Uptake for Windows 8/8.1 was remarkably low, for both home and business users.

Based on statistics from Net ApplicationsWindows 8/8.1 sits below both Windows 7 (56.26%) and Windows XP (18.26%) at just 13.52% across all OS’s, as of December 2014.

Mark hopes that “when Windows 10 makes its debut the uptake for business will be better than windows 8/8.1.

“It would be nice to think it will spur people to look closely at [Windows 10’s] benefits and advantages and adopt it as early as possible but in business circles IT professionals like to play safe and wait for “stable” versions before rolling out across their domains.”

Another problem “is the learning curve that’s needed to train staff in using new software and feel comfortable doing so.

“Personally my first thoughts on Windows 10 are very positive and I for one will be adopting the new OS as soon as possible.” Mark added.


OS Security


You might wonder what the harm in using a no longer supported OS is. It’s not as if it just stops working but “from a security point of view any operating system not being regularly updated must be removed from any network holding sensitive data or access to the internet,” Mark explains.

“it’s very easy to get complacent and think your anti-virus product will protect you but if the manufacturer is not blocking known exploits or holes in the OS then it’s going to struggle to do that.”

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Are you, or your company, still using XP? Are you planning a Windows 10 upgrade on launch?