AZCOMP Technologies IT May 2019


MAY 2019

Empowering Small Practices to Deliver the Best Care


THE FINAL DAYS OF WINDOWS 7 Why You Should Be Preparing to Switch

All technology is iterative. Whether we’re talking about software or hardware, there will come a time when your current tools will no longer fit your needs. Deciding when to upgrade is always a bit of a guessing game. You could choose to be an early adopter, but that means you may be dealing with 1.0 bugs and other growing pains. Waiting too long to switch, however, can create much more serious problems. An expiration date for making a change is exactly what Windows 7 users are facing right now. On Jan. 14, 2020, Windows will end support for Windows 7. Updates will stop, and the operating system will enter lame-duck status. Technically, you’ll still be able to use Windows 7 after that date, but if you’re one of the 40-plus percent of businesses who still use the platform, you need to think about switching as soon as possible. Here are a few key reasons why. EASE OF INTEGRATION Your operating system may be the foundational platform from which every other desktop tool springs, but it’s far from the only software resource you rely on. In today’s world, every business needs a whole suite of services in order to run at their best. Sticking to an out-of- date operating system will cause your other programs to falter. Developers simply aren’t updating their software with an eye toward Windows 7. Over time, many of the applications essential to your operations will become unusable in Windows 7. The same is true of hardware. New devices and components are released all the time, and they are all designed to work with the operating systems of today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, Windows 7 is quickly becoming yesterday’s operating system. Using Windows 7 with such hardware limits its capabilities. Eventually, it will become difficult to find hardware that’s compatible with Windows 7 at all.

SECURITY CONCERNS While hindering your performance is far from desirable, that pales in comparison to the safety risks you’ll be living with if you don’t upgrade in time. Once Microsoft ends support, security patches will cease. These patches are essential for combating the latest tactics used by hackers to break into your network. Without them, you are extremely vulnerable. Even worse, hackers know to target businesses and individuals who fail to upgrade to current operating systems. They correctly reason that if somebody is foolish enough to use an outdated platform, they probably aren’t wise enough to have adequate defenses. Basically, an unsupported operating system is the equivalent of a “kick me” sign on your back, only this one reads: “hack me.” ACT NOW OR CRY LATER We are still more than six months away from the death knell of Windows 7, so you may think you have time before a change is necessary. The truth is: You should act now so that once the final date arrives, you’ll have all of your machines ready to go. That’s especially true if you’re considering changing your service provider altogether, rather than simply migrating forward to Windows 10. If you need to transition your operating system, we are here to help guide you along the way. No matter what course of action you take, you have to act. Otherwise, you’ll be in deep trouble come January 2020. –Byron Adams

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