Making Sense of Windows 7 End of Life

Some recent announcements by Microsoft regarding Windows 7 end of life have caused a bit of confusion out there. To help you determine what this all means for your organization, Fully Managed has compiled some information about what’s happening and outlined options for moving forward. 

If your organization still has questions after reading the Q&A below, don’t hesitate to contact us at XXXXXXXXX. 


What is happening to the Windows 7 operating system?

  • In January 2020, Microsoft will stop providing free security updates and support for Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise.

  • If absolutely needed, Microsoft has added extended Windows 7 support for a fee that increases each year for the next 3 years.

Can I upgrade my existing workstation/laptop/devices from Windows 7 to Windows 10?

  • In some cases, you can – however there are minimum requirements to run the Windows 10 operating system that older machines may not meet. 

What are the risks of staying on Windows 7? 

  • While we do not recommend this option, you can choose to pay the fee for extended support through Microsoft or your Managed IT Service Provider; however, software and hardware may not be backwards compatible with this older operating system, which can cause usability issues.
  • However, under no circumstances should you stay with Windows 7 and not pay for the additional support. Your system will be unsupported, making your organization and its data vulnerable to security threats. This is both a cybersecurity and compliance risk.

Next Steps & Options

  • Start planning! Determine if your organization has an existing plan for device refresh.
  • Conduct an inventory of all devices running Windows 7. (Fully Managed customers - we can identify for you which assets need attention!)
  • Look at your budget. Consider all available options that fit with your plan.

The Options

  1. BEST OPTION: Upgrade old, obsolete hardware
    • Opt for a new device if your existing one isn’t compatible with an upgrade to the Windows 10 operating system. This is the best option to make sure your organization stays compliant and secure.
  2. SECONDARY OPTION: Upgrade to Windows 10
    • If your hardware will allow an upgrade to Windows 10 you can choose this option. We recommend that you should still make sure you have a hardware refresh plan in place for the future.
  3. TEMPORARY/LAST RESORT: Extend Windows 7 support
    • If you can’t upgrade to Windows 10 and you need more time for budget decisions, you can pay to extend Microsoft support. With this option, you are on borrowed time, and planning is critical to ensure hardware refresh/resource planning.
    • Pricing ranges from $50 per user for the first year up to $200 per user for the third year.
    • There are also major risks associated with this option to be aware of as well. Your software may not be backward compatible with Windows 7. Make sure ALL aspects of your business can move forward if you choose this option.

Need Advice? Talk to us!

Not sure where to start? Need help figuring out what needs to be updated? Consider a Digital Transformation Partner like Fully Managed.

We have decades of experience providing IT support and services and have helped 1000s of companies transform their technology to work for them.  We can walk you through next steps and help you plan for the future.  Fill out the form to set up a discussion with our team.